Many fear that going vegan means giving up one’s food culture in favour of an ethically aware lifestyle, but when Hilary Masin, Director of Creations at Sgaia Foods Ltd, and her partner Alberto, went vegan, they knew that their food culture was going to go with them.
After successfully recreating many meat based dishes with their vegan substitute in their home kitchen, they set up Sgaia Foods to prove that you can lead an ethical, healthy life while also standing by your traditional culinary heritage.
Their aim is to encourage a shift towards the vegan lifestyle by offering tasty, satisfying foods to replace animal-derived proteins without compromising on one’s heritage.
All Sgaia’s Mheats are made with a uniquely crafted wheat and soya bean protein blend, which mean that they contain gluten.
Considering the constant market growth in the free-from food, the company were looking to find an alternative to gluten so that their vegan products were accessible to everyone.
Producing a tasty product full of proteins, which is gluten-free and is without any animal source, is one of the biggest challenges for both industry and academics.
Interface connected Sgaia Foods with the team at Food Innovation @ Abertay (FIA), which was able to secure a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher to fund an experimental study for the development of the gluten-free range.
The company are hoping to reach a much larger audience with these products, and to broaden Sgaia’s range to other fresh vegan products alongside their Mheats.
“Thanks to Interface and the Scottish Funding Council, we have made an invaluable contact with Food Innovation @ Abertay, and we’re sure that we will remain in touch with them. We have some exciting new developments planned and we think they would make excellent research partners when it comes to actually working on these innovative foods”, said Hilary Masin.
Dr Alberto Fiore, one of the academics working on the project, says "The main concept of the project was to maximize fibre within the product using plant proteins, e.g. pea, which proved challenging but was ultimately successful. It was an interesting project and we are pleased that we could assist the company to produce an innovative free-from product".
Please note that Interface administers the Innovation Voucher Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council. All funding applications are reviewed on a case by case basis by the Scottish Funding Council, guidelines can be found here.