Planet Kuku have developed a product which is healthy and nutritious and to date has proven to be very popular at Edinburgh’s farmers markets. The product is Kuku, traditionally egg based; the company have developed a vegan version using a mixture of chickpea flour, olive oil and water. It’s a simple yet nutritious type of pie, like an Italian frittata.
Planet Kuku approached SRUC with a project to help them design and develop a new innovative commercially scalable Vegan Kuku product. The company was experiencing a range of technical challenges and difficulties and asked SRUC to investigate different solutions to stop the generation of excess moisture in the final product.
Funding for this initiative came through the Scottish Funding Council Interface Innovation vouchers, which enabled expert input from SRUC’s Hospitality department to tackle the problem. Hospitality students based at SRUC Elmwood were also able to learn about product development first hand during this product.
After receiving procedure, material information and sample products from Planet Kuku, SRUC development chefs were able to reformulate the recipes to reduce the moisture levels of the products. After discussions, it was suggested by SRUC that the best method of manufacturing the vegan kuku was using dried vegetables. Planet Kuku felt that dried vegetables affected the taste too much so SRUC investigated the use of use of moisture absorbent sheets in the packaging. The original recipe, when incorporating the moisture absorbent sheets produced the kuku with the desired taste and texture so Planet Kuku could produce their Kuku for the retail market.
Mateusz Noniewicz, Planet Kuku Company Director: “All together we are happy with results. Even though our goal was to reduce moisture levels we ended up with keeping it at the same level but controlling it, which works better for both texture and taste of our product. Introducing absorbent moisture pads helped control moisture levels and increase shelf life.”