Dutch food production system Tempeh Today launches in India to tackle protein deficit
Tempeh Today, a novel way to produce food sustainably and healthily, is being launched by Henk Schouten, CEO of Schouten Europe, in India. The move aims to reduce protein deficits in the Indian population. Protein-rich tempeh is locally produced in high-tech small fermentation units (SFUs). Tempeh Today will eventually produce a total of 10,000 metric tons of tempeh a year to give the Indian diet a healthy and sustainable protein boost. Tempeh Today also aims to implement at least 100 SFUs over the next five years in this rapidly growing region.
Tempeh in the spotlight
Tempeh is an ancient vegetable protein source based on soy and made by fermenting soybeans.
To finance Tempeh Today, Schouten entered into a partnership with the Dutch Good Growth Fund, part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.The process occurs through the influence of a fungus (Rhizopus oligosporus), which binds the soybeans into a whole. Tempeh can absorb other flavors well, making it a versatile ingredient for many different dishes. Tempeh is entirely plant-based, contains roughly 22 g of protein per 100 g and is rich in B vitamins, iron, minerals and fiber. Tempeh can also be made with other types of beans or chickpeas.
Schouten hopes to have at least 100 SFUs in operation by 2025. Individual SFUs are monitored from the Netherlands to ensure standardized production, consistent quality and food safety.
“It is more cost-effective to have a decentralized tempeh production in India than to produce it in one large factory. This also simplifies the local sourcing of raw materials from smaller farmers,” explains Schouten.
Impact in India
With Tempeh Today, Schouten offers 800 Indian workers employment for the coming years. This means they will receive a fair wage and provide a better future for their families.
The Tempeh Today concept will be rolled out across India in the coming years. Additionally, 2,000 local soybean farmers can receive an income by supplying soybeans to the local SFU. The farmers are being trained to get the land yield and the quality of the soybeans as high as possible and produce them sustainably.
How will it be distributed?
From the SFU, the tempeh will be locally distributed to a radius of just over six miles. Each SFU also has a freezer that uses solar energy.
Sixty percent of the tempeh will be frozen and transported to a central location for storage and packaging for supermarkets, the catering industry or the food industry.
The remaining 40 percent of the tempeh will be used in meals for school children. To make this concept a success, Schouten is working together with various Dutch and Indian parties.
Source – foodingredientsfirst