The latest developments in 3D printing technology for the food industry

Schouten Europe is originally a family business. Thirty years ago, they decided to start incorporating plant-based proteins in meat substitutes. They were one of the first in the Netherlands to do so. Schouten Europe now supply their products to more than 50 countries worldwide.
Read more about Schouten Europe and their collaboration with TNO below!

Schouten Europe's question for TNO

Schouten Europe arrived at TNO through the Chamber of Commerce Innovation(KVK) Top 100 with the question which technological trends will be relevant to them in the future. In the end, their question was specified as: ‘How can we use 3D printing technology in our manufacturing or
R&D activities?’

Schouten Europe received a one-day information session from TNO on developments in 3D printing at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. During this day, TNO introduced Schouten Europe to the world of 3D printing, while specifically looking at their market. Questions we looked at were:

  • What does the technology entail exactly?
  • What are the expected future developments for this technology and which opportunities does it present?
  • And how applicable is 3D printing to manufacturers in the food industry?

The knowledge they gained was then used to better position themselves to determine the future direction of their innovation efforts.

Quote van de ondernemer

"We enjoyed the pleasant and enthusiastic contact we have had with TNO. Their fast pace, open communication, but above all, ability to join us to reflect on our situation was tremendously beneficial to us."

Anke van Eijk, R&D manager Schouten Europe

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What does Schouten Europe do?

Schouten Europe develops and produces plant-based meat and fish substitutes for a wide range of clients. Their main focus is on retail, food services, QSR chains, and industry. This is why we have divided our R&D department into three teams. One team explores innovations from the perspective of Schouten Europe’s vision; another team works on new developments together with our clients; and another team is continuously optimising our product range. In this way, we’re able to give ample attention to the development of our products.

What makes your product so special?

Schouten Europe has all the ingredients and knowledge on plant-based proteins in-house. At present, a lot of manufacturers switching to plant-based meat substitutes buy standard premixes that allow them to quickly develop a meat substitute. In contrast, we develop our products from start to finish. This is a huge advantage, because it allows to stay in control of the quality of our products, their nutritional value, and taste. The drive to innovate at Schouten Europe is also incredibly strong. Add this all up together and it’s no wonder Schouten Europe is a frontrunner in the field of plant-based meat and fish substitutes.

What's next?

We will continue to develop sustainable products. Society is currently in the phase of partially transitioning to plant-based meat substitutes. Schouten Europe is keen to move to a situation where plant-based ‘substitutes’ are no longer considered meat or fish substitutes by consumers, but rather, standalone parts of a meal. To get there, we want to keep creating new products  that have undergone less processing, contain high nutritional values, and which taste delicious. In other words, products that are good for the world and people alike!

Want to know more

For more information on Schouten Europe’s sustainable plant-based meat and fish substitutes please visit their website. Do you have a challenge, ambition or issue of your own? Contact TNO Fast Track to start making an impact together!