REDUCED wants to solve food waste through taste
In the production facility in Nordhavn the innovative food company REDUCED produces food products and flavor enhancers using excess food from the food industry. The founders of the company, a chef and a jurist have a clear mission; they want to create intense flavor ingredients and reduce food waste simultaneously.
Food needs to taste of more
With help from the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) and Innovation Fund Denmark the food company REDUCED have designed and constructed production facilities in Nordhavn to produce organic flavor enhancers based on vegetables and animal protein sources, which are excess food and side streams from the food industry. In fermentation tanks the company produces flavor enhancers using excess raw materials from former laying hens. Typically, hens from the egg production are not sold as a meat product for human consumption. However, texture is not an essential criterion for the production of flavor enhancers and stock. Flavor, quality, and sustainability are on the other hand important quality parameters, which the company focuses on.
REDUCED uses legs from organic bull calves, which are an excess in the dairy production, seconds from the vegetable production, dried mushrooms, and shore crabs to produce stock in different flavor varieties. Based on color, shape, texture, or size the food components are not used in the conventional food industry. However, the company has spotted opportunities and value in these foods, in which they contribute to intense flavors in the stocks and flavor enhancers.
A short distance from idea to action
The chef William Anton Lauf Olsen and jurist Emil Munch de Voss are the founders of the company. With roots in gastronomy and food science together with experiences from Noma’s fermentation lab, the company has gathered a specialized application team, who individually contributes with knowledge and competences within innovation, product development, and flavor combinations.
Gastronomy is a cornerstone in the company’s business strategy. REDUCED comes up with suggestions on how to incorporate their flavor enhancers and stocks in dishes both at home, for restaurants, or for the food manufacturing companies. For instance, their shellfish stock is suitable as a flavor enhancer in a shellfish bisque or a chicken stock rich in umami flavor can be used as an ingredient when preparing a pumpkin risotto.
Flavor intensity through fermentation
Fermentation is an important instrument for the company during the production of intense and rich flavors in their products. By using the fungus Koji (Aspergillus oryzae), which traditionally is known from the Asian cuisine used to produce soya sauce, sake and miso, it is possible to enhance flavors in a broad variety of food products. The fungus spores are cultivated in steamed pearl barley and germinate for two to three days. Optimal growth conditions are important for the growth of the mycelium. During fermentation, the macro molecules of the food components are degraded to smaller molecules by a release of enzymes. Koji releases the enzyme amylase that transform starch into sugar, which contributes with sweet flavors. Additionally, proteases are released, which are enzymes that break down proteins into free amino acids. These contribute with intense
umami flavors. The fats are degraded by lipases, which also influence the complex flavor profile in the products.
Fermentation can be a time-consuming process that challenge production time, costs, and production capacity. REDUCED have managed to develop a manufacturing process, which reduces production time compared to traditional fermentation processes without compromising on flavor, quality, and prize.
With the consumer in focus
REDUCED is on a level with the consumers when they develop and produce natural flavor enhancers and ingredients. Here they meet one of their most important quality criterions: taste. The consumer segment is aware of their opinions when it comes to grocery shopping and food choice. Given that the company produces flavor enhancers that are organic, without additives, and originate from side streams from the food industry, these are important products characteristics that are in line with the consumers’ set of values.
Through product development and flavor composition the company has managed to create a flavor profile, which includes intensity, mouth feel and umami – attributes that typically characterizes animal protein sources. But according to the company, these attributes accompany plant-based proteins by contributing with flavors and complexity in the food products. Thus, REDUCED attempts to promote the transition towards a more sustainable food production. Simultaneously, they try to make it easier for the consumer to choose more climate-friendly, sustainable, and well-informed food choices.
REDUCED are looking into an interesting future, where well-defined visions are at hand. Among these, the company wishes to circulate their distribution on the Danish market both within food service and retailing. Furthermore, they work ambitious and determined to find skilled colleagues so they can continue developing flavor ingredients and simultaneously help solving one of the greatest and current issues we face globally – food waste.