Technion Team Wins an International Product Development Competition

The Students – Meital Kazir, Yarden Abuhassira-Cohen, Hani Shkolnikov, Hila Tarazi, and Ina Nephomnyshy, developed a spirulina enriched falafel, won the 1st prize at the EIT-Food project “Innovative Microalgae Product Development”.

In the competition, groups of graduate students from the Technion, Helsinki University in Finland and the Hohenheim University in Germany competed in the development of new food products from microalgae.

The project focused on the development of innovative microalgae and also included three industrial partners: Algatechnologies (Israel), who also supplied the raw microalgae materials used by the teams, Doehler, from Germany, and Fazer, from Finland based food products and business plans for their commercialization.

The project was born against the background of the global trend of reducing meat consumption, coping with the rapid increase in global food consumption and the need to locate new protein-rich food sources.

The winning dish “Algelapel” is frozen, ready for heating, enriched with proteins, vitamins, and antioxidants. The students developed the innovative pills, were mentored by Asst.Prof. Maya Davidovich-Pinhas, Assoc. Prof. Uri Lesmes, Asst. Prof. Avi Shpigelman and Assoc.Prof. Yoav D. Livney (Project Leader).

“One of the goals of the project was to expose graduate students to finding technological and industrial solutions to integrate micro-algae into food products. The advantage of our group, along with the other groups, was high protein content and antioxidants,” said Meital Katzir, a doctoral student at the faculty.

The Hoheneheim team, who developed a lentil-based vegan product enriched with Spirulina, won the 2nd prize; and the Helsinki team, which developed an oatmeal based oatmeal and enriched with Spirulina, won the 3rd prize.