30 Jun Positive expectations for fermented tomato products
Nowadays consumer demand for highly nutritional and sustainable food products, without additives and preservatives, is increasing. As a consequence, old processing methods such as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) fermentation are making a comeback. Fermented foods sit at the intersection of two growing trends in the European market: ‘natural’ products, also defined as ‘clean label’, and food that delivers added health benefits.
Keep Food Simple believes that the market size of fermented plant-based products will grow significantly over the next years. Existing examples of such products are cucumbers, cabbages and olives, but we are investigating opportunities for other plant-based foods.Together with Maastricht University Campus Venlo, MSc student Cosimo Cisternino is studying the market potential of fermented tomato products and in a consumer survey, respondents had overall positive expectations for such foods. 53% of the participants in the study believed that fermentation could improve the healthiness of a product, whereas 58% thought that the taste might be better. Moreover, the study shows that a lack of consumer knowledge about fermentation negatively infuences product acceptance. Therefore educating consumers in this particular area will be benefit opportunities with these products.
According to FAO, global annual production of tomatoes reaches 150 million tonnes. In Europe annual production is 23 million tonnes from which 60% is intended for industrial processing while waste amounts to 3 million tons per year.