WUR’s MINIScreen approach: fast-track development of plant-based products

WUR’s innovative MINIScreen helps the food industry to optimise plant-based products by smart and efficient application of fermentation technology. This high-throughput approach allows manufacturers to discover tailor-made fermentation solutions for optimal flavour, texture, and shelf-life. This enables them to bring more diverse and better plant-based foods to the market.

What is MINIScreen?

WUR’s MINIScreen (Matrix INteractIon Screening) is a fast and efficient screening approach enabling the development of plant-based foods by using a miniaturized version of the product. It assists plant-based product manufacturers within dedicated contract research projects to screen for improvements by fermentation directly in the relevant product matrix. With the use of MINIScreen, new innovative products can be developed in a relatively short time-span, with reduced risks and optimal use of resources.  

Our method to de-risk your R&D:

The MINIScreen approach can be used for multiple purposes that result in the improvement of the performance and overall quality of plant-based products:  1)     Delivering the right a) flavour and b) structure (texture) via screening for:

a.     fermenting cultures and conditions that produce desirable components or improve functionality or remove undesirable aspects, e.g. mitigation of off-flavours
b.     fermenting cultures and conditions that result in improved cross-linking properties of proteins as a result of proteolytic activity or by production of polysaccharides

2)     Clean label solutions resulting in safe and/or nutritionally improved foods via e.g. screening for fermentation conditions resulting in shelf-life extension, enrichment of vitamin levels (e.g. B12) or foods requiring less sodium by producing umami compounds.

The innovative MINIScreen approach is the result of the ample knowledge, vast experience, and state-of-the-art technologies in the field of food formulation, fermentation and screening methodologies available at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. This unique combination funneled into our MINIScreen approach, allows for faster screening than traditional new product developments, using less resources. It therefore reduces some of the risks faced in the challenging process of developing novel plant-based foods.