Centuries-old-fermentation technique all hot again

AMSTERDAM - Fermentation is totally hot. We are seeing more and more fermented food products appear on the shelves. In fact, fermentation is a very old preservation technique in which a food is broken down or converted by bacteria, fungi or yeasts. Through heat and moisture these microorganisms grow and create enzymes that cause the product to change character. Products change from smell, taste, appearance or have a longer shelf life. In yoghurt for example, fermentation causes lactose to be converted into lactic acid. Other well-known examples of fermented products include beer, sauerkraut, bread and wine.

The global growth of fermented products has its basis in the growing health awareness of the consumer. Although the health effects of fermented products are not without controversy, it seems that this technique provides better digestibility. More and more new and potential concepts are coming to the market. At the moment TEN the export network is working with several companies to look at their expansion opportunities. These are products such as tempé, kombucha, kimchi, all kinds of fermented vegetables and vegetable cheese based on fermented nuts. We are very proud to be able to supervise these potential start-ups and scale-ups.  

Bumi Organics is the company of Florian and Daan, two enthusiastic outdoor athletes, nature lovers and friends. They could not find any vegetable products in the supermarket that met their wishes and decided to create them themselves. This eventually resulted in a nice range of tempeh's on lupin basis. Ohnami makes beautiful kimchi's. Alex's roots lie in Korea which is the birthplace of these products. Almost every Korean eats kimchi daily, as an ingredient or as an addition to the meal. Moritz is founder of Sauercrowd, which is not only a concept based on fermented vegetables, but also a platform for inspiration and knowledge exchange. 'Because together as a 'crowd' we can make a change,' Moritz says. Kelly and Labe are experienced from their American background making fermented tea, or kombucha. There are now many varieties on the market, but their Cultcha Kombucha was the first in the Netherlands and also the only one with a fermentation rate of 90%! Steven and Tina, better known by their brand name Rosie & Riffy, are experts in making fermented, nut-based vegetable cheese. Partly because of Tina's own lactose intolerance, they have found a way to make others happy with these flavorful, vegetable cheeses.

In addition to its purported health-promoting effect, fermented products also fit the growing attention for plant products. And they fit in the slow food trend. Because fermenting takes time, you have to give the microorganisms time to do their job properly.

TEN the export network offers advice and support to food & beverage companies that dare to look across borders. We coordinate export activities, stimulate business development projects and set up new international routes. TEN professionalizes existing export activities and we are consultants working for the SIB program (Starters International Business Program of the RVO, Dutch Government) for SME companies. For more information: www.theexportnetwork.nl or contact us for an appointment: http://www.theexportnetwork.nl/contact/.

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