Interview with Carlo Weber, AlpenPionier
What motivated AlpenPionier to apply for a research call to Swiss Food Research?
At that time we were almost at the beginning of the AlpenPionier company. There was still no company that only had the fixed idea of growing hemp as a food in Switzerland and offering it in various forms as a food. Emanuel from the team had already grown hemp in two fields to produce about 2 tons of hemp nuts, but we used these to produce prototypes and test products such as oil and powder on the market.
In order to further advance the prototyping, we applied for the Research Call in order to be able to investigate much more and more specifically in cooperation with the ZHAW Wädenswil.
How did you find answers to your research questions?
We have formulated the following research question:
"Development of an efficient but gentle separation process to extract oil, proteins and other high potential components from industrial hemp."
The investigations were mainly concerned with the efficient separation of the constituents oil, dietary fibres and protein. The analyses were intended to show which technology is best suited to the process. In addition, figures for the costs and the investment volume of such a plant should come together. The investigations took place in cooperation with the Institute for Food and Beverage Innovation of the ZHAW in Wädenswil.
How did you profit from the Research Call and what further development can be attributed to it?
The Research Call has brought us enormous progress in the research question. On the one hand many questions could be answered, on the other hand it opened up further fields of investigation. In addition, the cooperation with Swiss Food Research has brought about a lively exchange among each other and with other producers and universities. The networking of Swiss Food Research is very extensive and direct with the key players in the industry and companies. This enables contacts to be made quickly with the right people. For a start-up company, support in development and valuable contacts are very, very important for advancing an idea. Swiss Food Research is a very valuable partner.
Information about AlpenPionier: www.alpenpionier.ch/