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The Climate Donut
Friday 04 February 2022 08:18

Baker and innovator Ludovic Gerboin from the Bakery Ways in Moosinning, Bavaria has a vision: To eliminate palm oil and use novel, climate friendly ingredients in his bakery products, a principal step towards a circular bioeconomy. With the help of Prof. Dr. Thomas Brück, Werner Siemens Chair of Synthetic Biotechnology at the Technical University of Munich together with his brother Wolfram Brück, Professor of Food Microbiology and Foodomics at the HES-SO Valais/Wallis, he designed the “Climate Donut”. This climate friendly donut containing sustainable yeast oil, algae, or insect fillings. 

Algae and insects as sustainable alternatives

Prof. Dr Thomas Brück, provided the yeast oil and algae-based ingredients, such as vitamin rich biomass, or the antioxidative pigments phycocyanin (blue) and beta carotin (red). While the greenhouse gas adsorbing algae products provide a nutrient dense health benefit, the yeast oil is destined to provide an environmentally friendly, sustainable, and scalable alternative to palm oil in food products and beyond. 

Prof. Dr. Wolfram Brück provided locally produced, sustainable insect flour and protein alternatives, which not only increase the nutrient content but also increase gut health leading to an improved immune response towards pathogenic challenges of consumers. The overall effect is an indulgence to enjoy with your morning coffee with a little less guilt knowing you have just contributed to help the environment, your descendants and yourself. 

How do insects contribute to the environment and your gut health?

Insects require six times less feed than cattle, four times less than sheep and two times less than pigs and broilers to produce the same amount of protein, which is crucial for more resource-efficient production. The inclusion of edible insects in human diets has also been shown to improve the nutritional quality of foods due to their high micro- and macronutrient levels compared to foods and food products derived from other animals. Furthermore, insects contain bioactive molecules that may help the good bacteria that live in our intestines - similar to your prebiotic yoghurt. 

As such the addition of insects addresses the first three UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of no poverty, zero hunger, and good health and well-being. Prof. Dr. Wolfram Brück’s research into insects was funded by the Swiss National Fund under the SPARK initiate (grant number CRSK-3_190233).