August 10, 2022

Dutch food production system Tempeh Today launched in India to tackle protein deficiency

February 24, 2021 — Tempeh Today, a new way to produce food in a sustainable and healthy way, is launched by Henk Schouten, CEO of Schouten Europe, India. This decision aims to reduce the protein deficits of the Indian population.

The protein-rich tempeh is produced locally in high-tech small fermentation units (SFUs). Tempeh Today will eventually produce a total of 10,000 metric tons of tempeh per year to give the Indian diet a healthy and sustainable protein boost.

Tempeh Today also aims to implement at least 100 SFUs over the next five years in this rapidly growing region.

Tempeh in the spotlight
Tempeh is an ancient source of soy-based vegetable protein made by fermenting soybeans.

To fund Tempeh Today, Schouten has partnered with the Dutch Good Growth Fund, part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.The process occurs under the influence of a fungus (Rhizopus oligosporus), which binds soybeans together.

Tempeh can absorb other flavors well, making it a versatile ingredient for many different dishes. Tempeh is all-vegetable, has about 22g of protein per 100g, and is rich in B vitamins, iron, minerals, and fiber.

Tempeh can also be made with other types of beans or chickpeas.

Production standardization
Schouten hopes to have at least 100 SFUs in operation by 2025. Each SFU is controlled from the Netherlands to ensure standardized production, consistent quality and food safety.

“It is more profitable to have decentralized production of tempeh in India than to produce it in a large factory. It also simplifies the local sourcing of raw materials from small farmers,” says Schouten.

Impact in India
With Tempeh Today, Schouten is providing employment for 800 Indian workers for years to come.

This means that they will receive a fair wage and provide a better future for their families.The Tempeh Today concept will be rolled out across India in the coming years.

In addition, 2,000 local soybean farmers can earn income by supplying soybeans to the local SFU. Farmers are trained to get the yield of the land and the quality of the soybeans as high as possible and produce them in a sustainable way.

How will it be distributed?
From SFU, the tempeh will be distributed locally within a radius of just over six miles. Each SFU also has a freezer that uses solar energy.

Sixty percent of the tempeh will be frozen and transported to a central location for storage and packaging for supermarkets, catering or the food industry.

The remaining 40 percent of the tempeh will be used in school meals. To make this concept a success, Schouten is working with various Dutch and Indian parties.

Edited by Elizabeth Green

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