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Procordia launches school meals of the future

Procordia launches school meals of the future

Procordia is launching smart food, with less red meat and more dietary fibre. This is good news for schoolchildren in Sweden. 

Together with medical, health and nutrition experts from the Igelösa Life Science Community research centre at the University of Lund, Procordia has developed Felix Smart Food, climate-smart minced meat products with optimal nutritional composition, based on the latest health research.

“Our goal has been to create the optimal minced meat product, both for human health and for the environment,” explains Magnus Selin, Director of Procordia FoodSolutions. “By limiting the amount of meat and adding millet, oat kernels and lentils to the mince we get a healthier minced meat product that leads to an increased feeling of fullness and enables our schoolchildren to concentrate better, while also being better for the environment.”

“Lowering the meat content significantly reduces our environmental impact, and we are extremely pleased to see these new products on the market,” says Elin Röös, a PhD student at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Magnus Selin adds, “Our goal has been to create the optimal minced meat product, both for human health and for the environment.”

Food for health

Felix Smart Food is in tune with the times and in line with scientific and nutritional recommendations which encourage increased consumption of whole grains and vegetables and reduced consumption of red meat, i.e. meat from four-legged animals, in order to protect both our health and our environment. Felix Smart Food is being launched with a turkey burger and minced beef burger, both of which contain whole grains and less meat.

The burgers have a high protein content and a healthy fat composition. Procordia’s chefs and product and meal developers have been guided by dietary guidelines and the latest research findings from Igelösa throughout the process.

“When we were developing Felix Smart Food, we agreed that, apart from it adding health value, the taste was fundamental,” explains Brian Mårtensen, chef and meal developer at Procordia. “It has to taste good for children to want to eat it. Our taste tests among schoolchildren and nutrition chefs have produced excellent results, and we are very proud of this launch.”

The turkey burger is made with Swedish turkey meat and the minced beef burger with lean beef. The burgers contain whole millet, whole oat kernels and pea protein. In addition, the minced beef burger contains whole green lentils. Whole grains contribute to health by providing dietary fibre, iron, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, and antioxidants such as vitamin E. Whole grains are slowly broken down and absorbed by the body.

“This results in more stable blood sugar and a feeling of being fuller for longer, which provides better conditions for stable concentration and so aids performance in school children,” explains Ewa Larsson, nutritionist at the Igelösa Life Science Centre.

“The Smart Food burgers contain more protein than ordinary burgers on the market despite having less meat,” says Brian Mårtensen. “In addition, we have three different sources of protein – meat, egg and pea protein – which interact and provide a good mix of amino acids needed by the body. These products also contain more iron than ordinary burgers despite their lower meat content.”

“The burgers are lean, and the fat they contain is mainly unsaturated fat. When developing them, we also worked to obtain as low a salt content as possible,” adds Ewa Larsson.

Climate-smart food

Smart Food is not only healthier than other minced meat products; it is also less damaging to the environment. The consumption of meat must be reduced globally if we are to achieve sustainable environmental development. According to estimates from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, a kilogram of beef is equivalent to 250 km of car driving in terms of carbon emissions.

“Lowering the meat content significantly reduces our environmental impact, and we are extremely pleased to see these new products on the market,” remarks Elin Röös, a PhD student at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. “When it comes to meat products, the largest emissions of greenhouse gases take place in agriculture, and emissions are significantly higher for meat than for vegetable ingredients used as replacements. That is why we can say that the environmental impact decreases by roughly the same extent as meat content decreases. So, if meat content decreases from 70% to 45%, emissions are reduced by about 35%.” 

Igelösa Life Science

The Felix Smart Food minced meat products have been developed in close collaboration with researchers and nutritional advisors from the Igelösa Life Science Community research centre. Among other activities, the Igelösa research centre carries out research and studies on how diet, exercise, sleep and motivation affect health. Healthy eating means the right balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates, which in turn leads to good health and a feeling of being fuller for longer after each meal. The feeling of fullness is subject to blood sugar, among other things, and blood sugar levels should be kept stable through every meal of the day. Igelösa measures factors such as the glucose and insulin response after the consumption of various test meals in order to identify the foods that have the best effect on blood sugar curves.

Cooperation with Procordia forms part of what is known as the centre’s ‘third mission’, i.e. the university’s task of ensuring that research benefits the common good.

“Being able to translate research into practice and carry out research that will benefit children is a key driver for us in working together with Procordia,” says Stig Sten, the professor at the University of Lund, who heads the research at Igelösa.