Croatian Company Podravka Gets EU Cash, Sees Potential in Certain Area

Lauren Simmonds

December the 30th, 2020 – Podravka is as well known to every Croat as the dangers of propuh and arguments over what real burek are. Thanks to EU cash, the much loved Croatian company Podravka has its sights on one area in particular.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, for the project of developing innovative by-products during vegetable processing, worth a little less than seven million kuna, the Croatian compan Podravka was approved three million euros in non-refundable funds from the European Regional Development Fund. This is the first research project of the Koprivnica-based food company that will be financed from European Union funds.

As the Croatian company Podravka explains, during the two years of its implementation, an innovative, technologically efficient process of separating nutritionally valuable biowaste from the industrial vegetable processing of Podravka’s Kalnik Factory in Varazdin will be looked into for the development of new and innovative food products.

The potential for biogas production from all waste production streams will also be further investigated, and the expected results of this project are the creation of new knowledge and the increase of Podravka’s intangible assets through patents and yet more new brands, increasing the efficiency of the production process through the commercialisation of innovative products.

A few years ago, Podravka started analysing the condition and potential of by-products that arise during production in its factories, especially in the Kalnik and Umag plants.

As explained from the company, the research and development sector of Podravka in that period in cooperation with the academic community set hypotheses based on previously published scientific papers, and preliminary tests determined the existence of the nutritional potential of vegetable by-products that could focus on the development of completely new products and added value.

Since additional larger-scale research was needed for stronger evidence to back that up, back in February 2020, the Croatian company Podravka applied for EU funds through this project.

“I believe that the comprehensiveness of the project’s goals, which touch on as many as three thematic priority areas of the Smart Specialisation Strategy of the Republic of Croatia (Food and Bioeconomy, Energy and Sustainable Environment and Health and Quality of Life), has greatly contributed to this rapid positive result.

We’re extremely proud of this project, which is the result of cooperation between different sectors within the company, management, associates and consultants,” said Jasmina Ranilovic, the project manager and the director of Research and Development at Podravka.

The recently presented project for the development of innovative products from the category of food for special medical needs is being co-financed from EU funds, which together included the Rudjer Boskovic Institute (RBI) and the pharmaceutical company Belupo. The value of the joint research and development project stands at an impressive nine million kuna, of which 6.1 million kuna was co-financed with European Union money.

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