VIPS pilot Personalised Nutrition to start 12 April next

The VIPS pilot (Vitality & Interaction via Personalisation makes us Stronger together) is a Personalised Nutrition implementation (PN) project that will give insights into ecosystem roadblocks. VIPS is set up as a small-scale pilot, driven by a multi-disciplinary coalition of selected Personalised Nutrition Partners to help to better understand the customer journey in a mass market setting. We start with a targeted population of care workers with a Personalised Nutrition intervention. VIPS’s two main goals are:

1: Empower the employees from nursery home Maeykehiem – as a representative of the mass market - to live more vital lives.

2: Help Personalised Nutrition businesses connect and set up a complementary ecosystem that adds true value for the user ánd the connected private partners and generate data on what works and what not.

VIPS does this by combining the strengths of several different PN companies to offer the employees of Maeykehiem a truly innovative, effective and fitting PN intervention that should enhance their vitality. An important aspect of this project is to learn from every step the consortium takes.

The following companies and institutions are involved in VIPS:

  • Maeykehiem: Frisian nursery home for mentallyo disabled people
  • Verdify: Truly personalised recipes, powered by AI.
  • MyOwnHealth: Personalised supplements based on a blood test.
  • Fitsurance: Data and knowledge driven lifestyle coaching for personals health.
  • The Right Meal: Online access to dietitians and targeted recipes.
  • LHM Diagnostiek: Biomarker measurements.
  • PhenomX Health: Personalised advice targeted at peri-menopausal women.
  • BlockSmith: Decision engines for health and mental wellness.
  • WEcR: Social and psychological research
  • Innoboost: Consumer centric research into personalized vitality.
  • TNO: Guidance in setting up and reporting on the intervention
  • Foodvalley NL: Initiation and overall management

More information about the pilot or in joining the PN community? Please contact Judith van der Horst.

Global Insights Personalised Nutrition

Did you know that Personalised Nutrition is now a global phenomenon? It thrives on local solutions that respond to regional demand. On February 6, Foodvalley NL gave the floor to five Personalised Nutrition Community partners and experts from different parts of the world to highlight the opportunities and challenges. Sharing these local examples is one of the key success factors for the further development of Personalised Nutrition.

Key findings

More than 40 PN partners joined online. Key take aways are: 

  • Despite tough global economic PN downturn, personalised nutrition is still very relevant, especially for younger target audiences.
  • We see a lot of future in personalised nutrition for strategic partnerships between tech and health.
  • Just by changing unhealthy food items in your basket to healthy items, we see 5kg of bodyweight loss. This can translate in great PN opportunities with clinical relevance.
  • In Columbia, we say ‘full belly, full heart’. Food is more than nutrition and we need to take cultural aspects into account in personalised nutrition.
  • Because of the strong consortia and specific funding opportunities, Europe is and will be leading the global personalised nutrition developments.

Community partners can find the recording in a few days on

Get in contact

Judith van der Horst-Graat
Innovation Lead Food & Health

About the Personalised Nutrition Community

As a practice leader in the field of Personalised Nutrition & Health, Foodvalley knows what our partners need to be successful in the food transition. That is to collectively tackle roadblocks that we cannot solve individually. The Foodvalley Personalised Nutrition Community has defined that as the collective mission. On this journey we are building a connected, expert and supportive ecosystem for Personalised Nutrition. An ecosystem on which we can grow together towards a sustainable and viable businessmodel. 

This online event was held exclusively for Personalised Nutrition Community partners. Are you interested in joining the PN community? Please contact Judith van der Horst.

Foodleap 2.0 is now available

Community partners have already had access to an early version of Foodleap. Now we are happy to present you an updated version 2.0 of Foodleap. This time it is available to all of you.

What is Foodleap?

A qualified network is essential for the growth of your business. However, finding quality contacts can be difficult and time consuming. There are many conferences to attend and it can be difficult to find that key partner outside of your own bubble. Social media often overwhelms you with possible contacts, but many are not relevant. You simply do not have the time and resources outside of your work.

Foodvalley has created Foodleap, the online agri-food network, based on decades of building a high-end network and extensive experience working in innovation ecosystems worldwide. Now we can share our network digitally to support your growth.

Find and interact

Foodleap gives you the opportunity to find and interact with interesting partners. By simply entering your needs, Foodleap will present you with available contacts, for example by theme, region, technology or type of actor. The platform is not only a search engine, but also a lively place to ask questions and share ideas. It is a great opportunity to discuss previous findings or to reach out to contacts within the Foodleap network. Your most relevant partners are just a few clicks away.

In short, Foodleap allows you to:

  • Find and chat with stakeholders, including their innovation facilities, based on your needs in an easy and accessible way.
  • Be visible so that others can find you and share your offers.
  • Find interesting events and share your own.
  • Openly share your needs on the message board
  • Find news of others about new funding possibilities, trade missions or grants.


Foodleap is easy to join. All you have to do is register and you are ready to go. It takes about 2 minutes.
Over the next month, we will actively add around 400 actors to the platform. This means that not all actors are accessible at the moment.

Questions? Do not hesitate to email if you need assistance registering or have any other practical questions.  Please contact your Community Manager if you have specific questions about community information and/or contacts that you would like to be facilitated.

Blog #5: Meatless Christmas or not?

The holiday season is approaching and for most of us this means family and friends, cheesy Christmas mas movies and long rich dinners. Whilst the typical holiday feast may include tender ham or juicy roast beef, there is an increasing trend towards a meatless Christmas dinner. Well, maybe not so much meatless, though at least less meat. I often get the question whether we eventually will end up in a society with no-meat at all. Clearly no one really knows, it is hugely complex and context dependent, however I can take a best guess at where we are heading.  

Regaining balance includes plant and animals

As the vegetarian/vegan movement continues to gain momentum, there’s growing talk of a potential future in which society no longer consumes meat. Although this has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other negative effects associated with animal agriculture, it’s important to understand that a completely meat-free society is neither a necessity nor the ideal. Some disciplines even find this out of balance. In Biomimicry that studies nature as mentor, measure and model for innovation- animals play an important role in nature’s equilibrium. Experts like Imke de Boer (and many others) signal that only with (a balanced amount of) animal(s) products we can have a balanced system. What we should be aiming for is a lowered meat consumption in society, restoring the balance of plant and animal intake. In some regions of the world this means preventing this disbalance to occur 

Healthy and sustainable like the early days

We have to recognise that meat consumption is deeply embedded in many cultures. This can be seen especially in populations with a primarily agrarian background, where diets featuring animal products are traditional and essential to the society’s well-being. For many people, giving up meat would make them feel like they’re losing an important part of their cultural identity.   

Animals for food and good

Meat is an essential part of a balanced diet for both humans and animals. It’s important for our bodies to get enough of the protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals that are more difficult to obtain from other sources. We also need animals for circularity. They help in efficiently processing of waste streams and grass into high nutritious food. Did you know insects are true ecosystem engineers and that they are full of proteins available for consumption? We also use animal by-products for clothing, cosmetics, food and medical products. Best to assure that nothing goes to waste, creating a truly sustainable system in which all animals deserve to be well treated. We know how to do this; look how we treat our pets😉. In essence, it is going back to a more balanced system. Sounds easy right?

That Christmas dish matters

We all are in the position to make different choices on a daily basis, to get to and keep this balance. That is the bigger picture for Foodvalley NL. We help people with their role, embrace and support frontrunners that inspire and pull forward the mainstream, and assure that the right conditions are set for innovations to fly and change to occur To make the healthy choice the easy choice, to optimally use side streams for food, feed and other purposes and to increase involvement from other sectors and disciplines We all have a role to play. And with that comes responsibility. Start small, experiment with little steps. Why not with your Christmas dish!?

Ok, now, what is the alternative to turkey, you might wonder?

First of all, think of a good theme for your Christmas dinner. What about calling it Dinner with Mother Earth (DME). Give her a chair at your table, as a guide for all the tiny decisions a big Christmas dinner requires. She will guarantee a well-balanced meal and a Christmas toast for good health. On top of that you will be able to sleep well – physically and with peace of mind.

Where to start!?

I love cooking, and this is how I make my Personlised DME. 

  1. Make it a journey full of exploration and discovery: Try ingredients and recipes you’ve never tried before, or better even that bring you back to your holiday destinations. This couple made eating vegan FUN.
  2. Focus on bold flavors and play local seasonal ingredients. Think magic beans.
  3. Build a spectacle mixing colors, shapes, and textures, to create an attractive plate and to set a bold main dish.
Of course, the bigger picture of Christmas is the feast of warmth and togetherness. Let us give Mother Earth a seat at our table and remember and praise everything she brings in our daily lives.  

Have a wonderful holiday season and great year end celebrations!

Marjolein Brasz
CEO Foodvalley

PS If you really want to have a DME, join the Personalised Nutrition Community. This community works on a Healthy Sustainable Food. Mother Earth is table head, our end goal in shaping the future of food. 



Exciting experiences with Ready to (h)eat meals initiative 

Booster 2021 award winning multi-stakeholder initiativeReady to (h)eat meals” has started with a number of users.  

Winning the award, the partners of the initiative were able to set up a free of cost trial for 12 individuals. These individuals were eager to address their health issues but had yet to encounter a method that works well for them. Jiska van Berloo tried “Ready to (h)eat meals tailored to gut, genes and guidelines”. 

Some experiences with the initiative so far 

My main goal was to lose some weight and improve my gut microbiome. With the help of the DNA analyses, I learnt that a low carb diet is probably not helping me to achieve that. However, cutting saturated fat probably does. The menus contained delicious recipes and meals which were easy to prepare. The effect: I eat healthier and lost 4 kg. It was easy to follow, and I was motivated to do so. Due to the many different recipes, there was enough variety. I still like to use Swapmeals recipes.  

About the initiative 

The “Ready to (h)eat meals tailored to gut, genes and guidelines” initiative creates a one-stop shop to order personalised meals in line with personal nutrition recommendations based on your microbiome, DNA and personal preferences and needs. In addition, it engages people in an entertaining and educational experience. It is a multipartner initiative of Verdify, Eatch, Omnigen, MyMicroZoo and University of Antwerp.

Booster 2021 award 

Food Innovation Hub Europe is always looking for new initiatives in personalised nutrition to reduce obesity (within Europe and beyond). Three initiatives received the Booster Award in 2021. They received: 30,000 euros development budget, 1 year of monitoring, visibility of the initiative and access to a large international food network. The award was designed to encourage initiatives that support the reduction and prevention of obesity through the use of personalised nutrition tools. 

New Fermentation Lab in Foodvalley Region will accelerate the protein transition 

To provide more organisations with the opportunity to experiment with fermentation, a new and innovative Fermentation Lab will be established at Smaakpark, a hub for sustainable food initiatives in Ede. Fermentation is essential for making plant-based products tastier, processing food waste streams and extending the shelf life of food products. This makes it an important part of the plans to accelerate the transition to plant-based proteins and a circular economy. 

Fermentation Lab as part of the Foodvalley Regional Deal and Shared Facility Finder 

The bulk of the Fermentation Lab’s funding is provided by the Foodvalley ‘Regional Deal’. The lab will be about 110 square metres, not counting a greenhouse complex and fishponds, and will participate in the Shared Facility Finder (SFF). This is a joint initiative of Foodvalley NL and Wageningen University & Research (WUR) that encourages businesses, entrepreneurs and institutions to use each other’s facilities. Interested parties can find the Fermentation Lab and book its facilities through the SSF. 

“Research facilities are often not used for 100%,” says Petra Roubos of Foodvalley NL. “Sharing these facilities is a sustainable way to invest in the circular economy together. The best thing about it is that it brings people from different backgrounds together to share their knowledge, resulting in innovative and practical ideas.” 

Initiator Smaakpark Ede attracting new participants 

Smaakpark Ede is the initiator, owner and user of the Fermentation Lab and has been experimenting with fermentation for several years. “Foodvalley NL noticed our work and pointed us to a grant to develop the idea further,” says Christian Weij, director of Smaakpark. “With the help of the Shared Facilities funding provided by the Foodvalley Regional Deal, we can now build a completely new lab and provide more businesses and researchers with access to it.” Several organisations have already signed up to use the lab, including Aeres University of Applied Sciences and WUR. 

The lab is a big step forward for the protein transition. By sharing the lab, the costs for entrepreneurs can be kept to realistic proportions, making it an ideal initiative for small and young businesses. They can use the lab to experiment and further develop products that will eventually find their way to consumers. This is one of the core activities of Foodvalley NL, says Roubos. “We want to keep expanding the sustainable food ecosystem. We know what is needed for a successful grant application and the users of the facilities know what innovations the market is looking for. We need to find and connect with each other to achieve the transition to sustainability, and the support provided by the Regional Deal has facilitated this.” 

More information 

The Shared Facility Finder (SFF) is a platform where organisations can share research and innovation facilities. A map displays which facilities are currently available. The platform also provides support and funding to users who want to create new facilities or provide access to facilities that are currently not accessible to other users. Some 350 sites currently participate in the Shared Facility Finder. 

Interested in using or sharing innovation facilities? More information

Download full press release (Dutch)

Protein transition in Gelderland a promising new sustainable industry

According to a monitor developed by The Protein Community and the province of Gelderland, the sector involved in the protein transition has shown above average growth over the past five years. The monitor is intended to provide insight into the economic impact of the protein transition at the national level. 

The protein transition: a sustainable sector on the rise

The protein transition involves restoring the balance in the production and consumption of animal and plant protein (less animal, more plant). Because of the benefits for the climate, natural resources and public health, the transition is high on the government’s agenda. A sector is developing to support this transition that aims to make sustainable protein ingredients, products and technologies available to consumers and the industry. However, there is little data available about the current and future economic value of this sector. The Protein Community (TPC) was founded in 2017 by Foodvalley NL, the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel and Oost NL. The recent celebrations to mark TPC’s fifth anniversary were a good opportunity to gain more insight into this new sector.

Above-average growth in Gelderland

The growth in employment opportunities, the number of businesses and the economic value of the transition were analysed in a pilot project for the province of Gelderland. The analysis was based on TPC’s database of Dutch businesses active in the protein transition, as well as the results of the annual Provincial Employment Survey. The results showed above-average growth for Gelderland: the number of jobs in the identified group of 66 businesses grew from 1,730 in 2017 to 1,920 in 2021, an increase of 11.2%. By comparison, the growth of employment opportunities in all sectors during the same period was 6.9%. Also notable is the added value of protein businesses, at well above €100 million. In Gelderland, the total number of businesses operating in this sector increased by 70% over the past five years to 75 companies in 2021.

More information

Foodvalley NL proud partner LIKEAPRO

Foodvalley NL is proud partner of the €14M EU funded IA project LIKEAPRO, focusing on shifting promising alternative proteins and products from niche to mainstream. LIKEAPRO will make alternative proteins more available, accessible, and acceptable to all population groups and everywhere.

To achieve this, representatives of growers, producers, chefs, retailers, consumers and researchers will work together in a consortium from many disciplines across industries and fields of experience. In the process, practical solutions will be designed in collaboration with consumers. This will happen within 11 living labs and in 4 real-world environments.

Foodvalley NL is responsible for involving the Food Actor Network – processors, ingredient suppliers and retailers.  With a powerful partner network from the TPC community (over 120 participants), we have mobilisation power to make alternative proteins successful. Furthermore, we are engaging related initiatives to team up.

Do you know alternative proteins initiatives with mainstreams potential. Let us know!

Curious what we do to connect the protein frontrunners? Watch this the video of last year’s The Protein Community


Questions? Get in Touch

Jeroen Willemsen, Innovation Lead Protein Shift (left)
Leo Koning, Community Manager The Protein Cluster (right)

The Food Boost Challenge wins Pim Breebaart Research Award

The Food Boost Challenge (FBC) won a Pim Breebaart Research Award. The prize is an initiative from The Hague University of Applied Sciences to stimulate and appreciate the most innovative research projects. FBC is a new project that stimulates young people to eat more fruit and vegetables. The secret ingredient for success: put the young people themselves on the steering wheel.

Young people in charge
The FBC challenges students to make vegetables and fruits more popular with young adults. The students do their own research on the eating habits of this target group. The participants find various types of solutions: they create a whole new food product, develop a real-life game or a concept for an app. The data, ideas, and solutions the students find, will be linked back to the business community. In this way talent and inspiration are brought to the market. The ultimate goals is of course a successful market launch.

Next editions
It has proven to be a successful concept that can be easily implemented in other places. The second edition of the FBC is being launched in Limburg, a third will be taking place on Curacao and the fourth edition is being prepared.
Are you ready for a challenge? Go to the website for more information.

Natural engineering with insects

Do you ever feel like you are missing something? Just because you see the world at your own eye level. From your own biotope, or bubble. The street you live in, your sports club and, of course, your social media. For me, that is the time to break loose and start zooming. Zooming out and looking holistically is natural in my role at Foodvalley. However, zooming in on the detail teaches me surprising things: natural engineering!

In this blog I will address our second innovation field: Circular Agrifood. It is about shortening supply lines, more economical use of raw materials and no waste. In short, the fascinating journey of this focus area; to refind the balance in the way we produce and consume our food. And zooming in, insects are an insane source of inspiration to tackle the huge challenge of food waste.

Circular Agrifood: the power of natural solutions…

The Netherlands is known for its engineers. And they are renowned for solving that other big issue: global warming and impending rising water. For Circular Agrifood, we also need engineers. But not those from a technical university. We need the practically trained, on and under our soil: the insects.

So, lets zoom in for a moment. Squat down, through your knees, take a shovel and grab a clod of soil. All bugs… And what are they doing there? They loosen the earth, make corridors, eat leftover material, turn it into fertile food for others. You see it happening before your eyes, fascinating. Upcycling in its purest form!

Therefore -working in the field of Circular Agrifood- we are also so fascinated by those trillions of little mini engineers. They were here long before we -humans- arrived. They had mined the field, literally and figuratively without producing waste and with short supply lines. We can learn so much from them!

Insects and practical solutions for healthy sustainable food…

For us, upcycling is to reuse food waste as much as possible. Not just the food we throw away, but also the waste flows from potato peelings or coffee grounds. Many of these leftovers can still be very well reused for humans and animals. And if that no longer works, we have our own ecosystem engineers: the insects! Because apart from being rich in healthy proteins, they provide healthy soil. Look at this great website from Ask Nature (Biomimicry Institute) and search for insects. Saskia van den Muijsenberg of BiomimicryNL will show some of these amazing wonders of nature for food innovation.

And of course, they are full of proteins. For more inspiration on developing the insects for the food sector, I would like to refer you to our partners NGN. They are a frontrunner and working as a social enterprise in the Netherlands and African countries. Their goal is to reach an economy that “works for everyone”- one which is circular and environmental conscious, inclusive and free of poverty. Developing Insects farms is an important way of contributing.

These and other examples are reflected in the insect scan developed from our engagement in Enterprise Singapore. A great example of the core of what we do at Foodvalley: Preparing the groundwork for a major innovation of which we don’t yet know how to apply in our daily meals. Our preliminary work consists of bringing people and knowledge together – cross border and from an independent role. In doing so, we build an infrastructure on which a lot of entrepreneurs, retailers and researchers can move forward: Making new products, finding markets, organising chains more intelligently.



…And for the way we pave the road for gamechangers

Thus, at Foodvalley we are a little bit like insects. We are ecosystem engineers as well. We pave the way for gamechangers. Build fertile ground for new initiatives. Establish new connections. The business of details – zooming in- is equally important to framing the bigger picture.

Zooming in requires attention, time, curiosity, a deep willingness to understand. I often find it hard in my daily work when my calendar dictates my life. That is why I regularly retreat into nature. For a walk, a long weekend, or like this summer in Slovenia. Engage all my senses, make space for detail, for observation, amazement. And then suddenly – I see the bigger picture again in coherence of all details.

Often simpler, more logical, and more fitting that the frantic attempts we made earlier based on abstract theoretical models. And most importantly, I see the first steps. Is that not strange, just by zooming in!

Thus, zooming result in first steps, and without a first step there is no journey… What will be your first step to zoom in? I can always recommend a retreat into nature. And then, when you come home refreshed, look in the insect scan at the wonderful world and innovation potential of insects.

Next time I will be talking about another fascinating journey – the journey of personal nutrition.


By the way, when you are interested in those little insects…and how they are part of the food transition, check in on the 24th of November, for the workshop at our offices in Wageningen’.



Confidental Infomation