FINLAND— Fazer, a Finnish foodtech company producing xylitol from oat hulls, has started its commercial operations in Lahti, Finland, after three years of investing in oats derivatives.

Producing xylitol from oat hulls is a patented innovation utilizing a novel technology developed by Fazer, making the product and the production process completely unique.

This is the first time in human history that xylitol is being produced from oat hulls, prior to now, oat hulls have been primarily used for energy production or cattle feed.

The scientific team of Fazer identified that oat hulls contain a high amount of xylose, the raw ingredient to create xylitol, which contains only 60% of the calories in sugar yet it tastes just as sweet.

As the food industry as well as modern consumers look for healthier alternatives to white sugar, xylitol from oat hulls is expected to spark interest globally.

It is estimated that approximately 90% of the production of the xylitol factory will be exported, with a particular interest in Europe, the US and Asia.

“Our new xylitol factory in Finland is a brilliant example of a circular economy, preventing waste, and in which side streams are upcycled intelligently. After processing the xylitol, what remains of the oat hulls is used as bioenergy,” adds Christoph Vitzthum, president and CEO of Fazer Group.

The company sees innovations as a critical enabler in executing its strategy to transform into a modern sustainable food company. The oat hulls are upcycled taps into Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trend 2022 “Upcycling Redefined”.

This trend highlights how adopting strategies to use by-products or ingredients that would otherwise be discarded as waste through upcycling creates an opportunity that benefits from reducing food waste. 

Fazer is building partnerships with various industries. “We want to create sustainable solutions for the people and the planet. we want to revolutionize the ways people think about food, and this is only the first step,” says James Dedman, Vice President of Fazer Foodtech.

In addition to Fazer’s Xylitol production, the plant’s patented technology can be licensed to other oat mills thus increasing the potential access to the next generation xylitol around the world.

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