Processed AND healthy: Israeli students take home the gold at int’l food competition

Having your cake and eating it too? Students from Israel’s Technion create quick meals aimed at being healthier than conventional fast food.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli students took first and second place at an international event highlighting food innovation.

The event, held in Brussels and funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, brought together competing teams from Israel, Italy, Finland, and Spain, with the goal of creating new, healthier processed foods which offer a long shelf life and ease of preparation without the harmful effects typical of highly processed food.

Two separate teams from Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa competed in the event, taking home the gold and silver medals respectively.

The winning recipe, created by the “omeletofu” team, used freeze-dried tofu to create a dehydrated vegan omelet, which can be prepared just by adding water, with no heating needed.

The omeletofu dish was offered in two flavors: mushroom, and shakshuka, a North African egg dish with tomato sauce popular in Israel.

A second Technion team took home the silver with their “Proteinchick,” a protein-rich snack made out of cashews, chickpeas, and lentils.

The vegan, gluten-free snack uses the water the chickpeas are cooked in to bring the other ingredients together via co-extrusion, resulting in a fluffy, yet crunchy texture.

“This competition offers students a unique learning experience,” said Uri Lesmes, a member of the Technion’s Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering.

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“They get a taste of the challenges the food sector faces today. They develop a product, lay down a business plan, scheme its manufacturing and present their ‘company’ to a team of experienced judges. So the whole process is very similar to founding a real start-up.”

The Technion has won multiple medals in Food Solutions competitions over the past five years, including with recipes for soy yogurt, reduced sugar chocolate cake, spirulina falafel, and oat-based labaneh.