Food Valley

Food Valley (Ruokalaakso) connects people from food science, education, development, and food industry.

The organizations in Food Valley have a wide variety of expertise that supports the food sector. The core function is to support the expertise of wellbeing promoting food production, development and processing.

Food Valley develops collaboration and network between educational, research and development organizations and food companies. We bring together expertise, needs and know-how by improving network-like behaviour between companies and organizations. Our operational model was created to allow improved co-operation and services between the organizations. One of our goals is to encourage companies and organizations to learn from each other but also from the customers, promoting synergy.

Food Valley has platforms based on regional specialization and national and international know-how:

  1. Protein platform for studying especially new protein sources, their structure, safety, bioavailability, and health effects in vitro and in vivo.
  2. Gut health and fermentation platform for studying existing and new probiotics, prebiotics, and other functional foods and ingredients, their identification, safety and availability, and related technologies. A gut model mimicking physiology in stomach and small and large intestine is developed to investigate digestion and relationships between food items and other ingredients with the host and the gut microbiota.

Background and Food Valley organizations

Food Valley started as a project, based on a pre-study that found that regional food companies need support in several analyses, product development, and marketing, but they didn’t know where to get the information and expertise from. As a result, Ruokalaakso (Food Valley) project was created to help to connect the needs with solutions. Get to know the project from a project summary of Food Valley (.pdf) .

After the project period, Food Valley still continues to develop the food sector. Organizations of Food Valley are Savonia University of Applied Sciences, University of Eastern Finland (UEF), regional development company SavoGrow, Savo Vocational College, Ylä-Savo Vocational College and Pro Agria Eastern Finland. More about the organizations can be read on their webpages.

A part of regional clusters

Food Valley organizations and knowhow are linked to primary production and agriculture as well as health through nutrition. Read more about Agri-Food cluster North Savo and Kuopio Health on their webpages.