Rapeseed, also known as canola, is one of the largest sources of vegetable oil in the world.
The seeds are pressed to get the oil, which becomes the final consumer product. Let behind is a byproduct referred to as rapeseed “cake”, chunky greenish clumps that are sometimes used in animal feed.
Beyond that, however, rapeseed cake has had little functional use as a human food product, but thanks to technology by Polish startup NapiFeryn, rapeseed processors can now upcycle the leftover rapeseed cake into a human-consumable protein powder.
The process developed by NapiFeryn to convert the leftover cake into a usable protein involves several steps and is currently in the scale up phase. Once converted into human-consumable protein powder, the neutral flavor and odor profile of rapeseed protein powder means it can be used in a variety of foods types such as bread, protein bars or as a meat or egg substitute.
This move to create higher-value outputs from agricultural byproducts is just another example of the momentum around upcycling. The market, which now has its own industry association and is sized at $47 billion, has startups creating products from inputs ranging from from cacao pulp to spent beer grains.
And now, thanks to NapiFeryn, rapeseed cake.
You can learn more about NapiFeryn’s technology via the nifty 360 degree video produced by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)’s food innovation initiative (EIT Food) for its Food Unfolded digital content platform.