Rival Foods: 'Bite is the new taste'

Regio Foodvalley has recently added a new addition to start-ups. Roots Innovation Hub is a real breeding ground for innovative ideas and passionate entrepreneurs who want to take their concepts further. A meeting with Ernst Breel of Rival Foods shows that the first innovators have already settled. Breel started the new company together with Birgit Bekkers to further develop and commercialize relevant research that Bekkers had started at Wageningen University outside the university walls.

Rival Foods has only been around for six months, but it seems to be on a very interesting track: that of structuring vegetable proteins according to a new process called shear cell technology. This gives vegetable proteins a firm muscle-like structure and bite and the properties of meat. Apart from the value of this process, its timing is also perfect, as meat substitutes and plant-based diets are in the spotlight these days. "Actually, Birgit and I are part of the lament that those meat substitutes are far from being what they should be," Breel begins. “They are often affe products with a taste, smell and color. Opening the suit and heating it up is really all you can do with it. Beautiful culinary products that you can prepare in different ways are still missing. We want to change that. ”

Bite is the new taste and it is therefore gratifying to note that with the developed procedure vegetable products get a firm texture and also react exactly the same to preparation as meat. It has already been proven experimentally how well that worked. “We have had several chefs work with our meat substitutes. They cut, baked, roasted, cooked and marinated, but didn't notice any difference with real meat. They were therefore enthusiastic. ”

Ideal nursery for startups

Breel is also enthusiastic about the possibilities that working in the recently opened start-up location 'Roots' offers him as an entrepreneur. And he is not alone, because there are more startups located in his immediate vicinity. “I just spoke to a few companies that will move into our sister building opposite tomorrow. There is already an interesting company there that is developing cultivation systems with plants. ” The interest there is does not surprise him. "It is ideal for startups that cannot afford to conclude long lease contracts, so it is ideal that affordable business space can be occupied here under flexible conditions." As far as Breel is concerned, there is also synergy, because according to him all startups can learn something from each other. “Questions about contracts, how you deal with employees or how you tackle certain administrative issues, every startup has to do with it. Only then can you exchange a lot of knowledge. ”

“It is also nice that, in the middle of the Foodvalley, there are all kinds of companies with whom we can work and that our lines with Wageningen have remained short. In this way we can link up with all kinds of scientific developments. ” Moreover, Breel is already noticing that the location also makes him internationally visible as an entrepreneur. “For example, we received financing from a foreign party that only noticed us because we were able to present our business case in the larger context of Wageningen and the Foodvalley.”

Read more about Rival Foods on their website

Healthy eating remains central in Ede

After six weeks of summer recess, normal life started again last week. You notice it in the traffic, in the town hall that is full again with colleagues and the stream of children who go back to school after a long summer vacation. The holiday is over.

That normal life often includes, in addition to working or going to school, going to bed early, and also living a little healthier. During the holidays we give ourselves an ice cream, fries or a pizza a little more often. We go more often for an easy meal, logical; after all, it is vacation. But these meals are often somewhat unhealthier. More fat, more sugar and more salt. Sports also often fall in during these weeks. But now that the holiday is over, we pay attention again. There is more fruit and vegetables on the table and you see more runners and mountain bikers in the forest. The wine disappears again into the weekend.

Healthy and sustainable

But what exactly is that healthy living? Potatoes, meat and vegetables? Are potatoes actually healthy or are they high in carbohydrates? Is the best breakfast a sandwich with apple syrup or yogurt with granola and fruit?

In Ede we try to teach our residents more about healthy and sustainable food in different ways. Almost every school has a vegetable garden at school and students learn about food. A number of restaurants in Ede are also participating in the Restaurants of Tomorrow project, where staff learn about a sustainable way of making food and how to waste as little food as possible.

The World Food Center will be a place where this will all come together, a place where children, parents and grandparents can learn about the world of food in a fun and educational way. Food is an important theme for Ede.

Just as we deal with traffic, nature, sustainability, health care and much more, we do so with food. In this way we work together on more knowledge about sustainable and healthy food, on less food waste and what choices we have to make.


Alderman Leon Meijer about the role of food in Ede. 
Appeared earlier in Ede Stad.nl

June 6: Annual Congress Healthy Innovation

While the realization of the World Food Center Experience itself has yet to begin, we are seeing the WFC site increasingly filled with food-related activities and initiatives.

Completely in line with the objectives of the World Food Center to work on raising awareness about the role of nutrition, and promoting a more sustainable, healthier lifestyle, the second edition of the Annual Healthy Innovation Congress place on the WFC site. This time at the beautiful location of the Akoesticum, the national training center for music, dance and theater.

This year's congress, organized by Foodlog, is about sugar. Less sugar in products, lifestyle and environment. How can you achieve that as effortlessly, tastefully and healthily as possible?

Is sugar 'the new smoking', 'the new fat', or even worse: 'poison'?

Sugar is naturally the gasoline on which our engine runs; fat is the emergency battery. But sugar has developed in recent decades into a serious threat to public health. We get a lot with our food and drinks too much sugar inside. To completely ban sugar is to break the other side, but it seems undisputed that it has to be considerably less.

Triple perspective 
The conference deals with three main themes Healthy Innovation the issues surrounding sugar: the product itself, the food environment in which it is offered and the lifestyle of consumers.

Do it together
Confusion in science and media, distrust in parties with an interest, and the hesitant policy on nutrition and health call for an integrated approach to the complex matter. How do you manage that?

The government is making a coordinating effort with it prevention agreement. Supermarkets choose one food traffic light. Will it deliver what policy makers hope for?

In the World Food Center, the place for the food debate, Foodlog organizes the Annual Congress Healthy Innovation, to get the chain as a whole, including consumers and governments, in motion.

Look here for more information about the program and sign up.


"World Food Center is an excellent opportunity for agrifood sector"


Now that governments are taking their final decision on participation in the World Food Center Experience these months, it is good to also look at the companies that are participating in this initiative. Why do they participate? And what makes them so enthusiastic? Bas Roelofs of FrieslandCampina recently explained it to Provincial Council of Gelderland:

"Before I became responsible for FrieslandCampina Netherlands, I worked in the Middle East for 3 years. There you notice that in conversations around a traditional Dutch company such as FrieslandCampina product quality and reliability are no point of discussion. The good image of the Netherlands opens doors and sells our products. "

"Despite this good international quality image, we are often very modest about it as a country. In Dubai, modesty is not the first word that comes to mind. It is all about glitter and glamor. As extreme as there, that does not suit our Dutch sobriety. But we can learn something from it. "

"With the vision and ambition of the WFC Experience, we can show the world in a fun way where we as a small country are big. As a Dutch dairy company with a global playing field, we can contribute to this. "

Commercial role companies?
"Whether our contribution has a commercial purpose, or is part of good citizenship in Dutch society, we have not doubted for a long time. In the discussions around the World Food Center it soon became clear that it would be more logical for us - as well as for the other companies - not to do this for commercial reasons. So do not try to tempt as many visitors as possible with our brands on the façade to buy our products. None of those visitors is waiting for a commercial park where companies display their groceries. "

"So we mainly participate in the realization that we have a role to play in the Netherlands and to show that we, as a region and as a sector, have something beautiful in our hands. And that feels good. Our contribution to date is mainly in the input of knowledge and expertise. We are talking about a financial contribution to the World Food Center Experience. "

"In order to achieve the desired number of visitors and at the same time offer fun and education, we must focus on our knowledge, expertise and social involvement. As a whole sector tell the whole story, open and nuanced. Then the WFC Experience is a great sign for the Dutch agrifood sector and a place where we would like to take our visitors. "