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Sustainability in food production

VTT provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services for the whole food production chain. We focus on developing novel food concepts that meet consumer needs and take into account the requirements of sustainable development. Sustainability should be achieved while delivering safe and tasty products that provide added value for the modern consumer.


VTT works closely with the industry and other domestic and international partners to develop sustainable and efficient energy, process and plant technologies and solutions. VTT pursues versatile energy research, from nuclear to renewables. Energy economy, transmission and storage as well as efficient use of energy and the management of emissions form an essential part of our research. Research and development is supported by strong foresight and scenario work.

Our expertise includes:

- assessment and improvement of process energy-efficiency: energy analyses, heat recovery, and energy integration
- energy production from side-streams
- solutions for energy-efficient buildings: low-energy, passive, zero-energy, energy-neutral and energy-positive buildings for new, refurbishment and retrofit construction


Our water technology expertise includes industrial process water cycles, as well as the treatment and utilisation of the resulting water and sludge. VTT’s facilities for separation technology related to water and wastewater treatment include a wide range of devices from laboratory scale to pilot scale. The special competences are filtration, sludge treatment and power ultrasound technology.

- Sludge dewatering using belt filter pressing, chamber filter pressing and centrifugation
- Fractionation of side-streams using filtering technologies and cyclone separation
- Wastewater/water purifications and process water circulation using membrane technology
- Disintegration and purification of surfaces using ultrasound technology
- Microbiological safety of process waters
- Microbiology in water treatment


Our solutions help to minimise the environmental burden of food processing while ensuring process reliability, process hygiene and product quality.

Efficient but safe

- Reduced energy consumption and improved product quality by minimal processing
- Starter cultures for ensuring microbiological safety and product shelf life
- Microbial and enzymatic conversion in low water content
- Improved fermentation efficiency through very high gravity (VHG) brewing and advanced yeast strain improvement including classical and targeted mutagenesis as well as metabolic engineering.

Optimal production chains

- Modelling, simulation and optimisation of production and logistics
- Chemical, mechanical and enzymatic fractionation of side-streams for new applications

Natural catalysts

- Enzyme discovery and production
- Enzymes for the optimisation of food process conditions and efficient utilisation


VTT has extensive expertise in packaging technologies, concepts and materials, including engineering of eco- efficient, bio-based materials and concepts for extended functionality of packaging. Our development efforts are targeted to reduce material usage, improve recyclability or energy recovery of packaging materials and to increase the use of renewable sources in packaging materials.

Eco-efficient packaging materials

- Engineering of light-weight packaging materials using bio-based foams
- Physical modelling for packaging material optimisation
- Bio-replacement of polymers and plastics used in packaging applications
- High-performance bio-based dispersion barrier materials
- Replacement of aluminium as barrier material for improved recyclability
- Extensive tools for eco-design of packaging

Added functionality of packaging

- Biopolymer based low-cost diffractive optic solutions (holograms) for packaging authenticity
- Printed indicators and sensors for improved control of food safety and tamper evidence
- Solutions for extended experience of packaging use, packaging as media.

Expert packaging services

- Biodegradation of packaging materials
- Life Cycle Analyses (LCA) of packages (carbon & water footprint)
- Packaging legislation consultation

Sustainability assessment

VTT offers sustainability assessments of the value chain including Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Carbon Footprint and Water Footprint as well as assessments of social and economic impacts. Assessments enable comparison or development of materials, processes and products in accordance with sustainability expectations and targets. VTT’s technology and business foresight services give our customers the ability to manage future trends and challenges. Foresight studies provide the means to identify and be prepared for anticipated major changes in the operating environment and in technology development.




Additional information

Annika Wilhelmson
Customer Manager
+358 20 722 7113

Additional information

Annika Wilhelmson
Customer Manager
+358 20 722 7113