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19 February 2024


Researchers taking their results from the lab to a finished product “

Research conducted at Swedish higher education institutions generates many ideas, but it is not always possible to turn them into reality. Vegitific was founded by researchers who are taking their results on a journey from the lab to a finished product. Here, research and product development can flourish together.  

“We know how the substances we research work, which allows us to get more people to directly benefit from our research results. Moreover, we have already developed a test prototype for the studies, so why not turn it into a real product?” says Michaela Sundqvist, CEO of Vegitific. 

Vegitific previously used the founders’ research to develop a nitrate-rich drink that has positive effects on the athletic performance. The new product, “Broccoli Sprout”, is a drink created from broccoli sprouts, bursting with beneficial glucosinolates. These were found to reduce lactic acid, improve performance and reduce oxidative stress in athletes who are training hard. 

The results of the research study, led by one of Vegitific’s founders, Filip Larsen, were published in a scientific journal in September.  

The strong link to research also makes it easier to make adjustments to the product as new research findings emerge. The first study involved very fit people, but a new study shows that it also works for regular exercisers. 

“New results show that it can produce an effect if you drink it three hours before a workout, even at lower doses than we initially tested,” says Michaela Sundqvist.  

The sprouts used in the research project were grown at Munkagrodden in Munka-Ljungby, and the test drink was created at Balsgård Foodtech just north of Kristianstad.  

It was the collaboration with Balsgård that led Vegitific – a Stockholm-based company – to contact Krinova. This then led to them being accepted into the incubator programme in 2022.  

“Krinova’s incubator is aimed at food and food product companies throughout Sweden,” says Jens Almqvist, business designer at Krinova. “We have an open application process and an admission process that rewards companies with a high level of innovation and a focus on sustainability.”  

Through Krinova’s established contacts, Vegitific was able to make a second prototype of “Broccoli Sprout” at Tetra Pak in Lund. This has been a big step towards launching the product.  

“The packaging that we have on our website is something I had a picture of in a presentation a year ago. And now it’s available in reality!” 

Krinova offered Vegitific much more than just support in the form of contacts with collaborative partners and support for branding and PR strategies. Michaela Sundqvist emphasises how important it has been for Vegitific to receive external support from someone who looks at the company as a whole. 

“We still work mainly as researchers, and Krinova has been a great support in being able to cover other aspects of the business side and provide important advice to move forward,” she says.  

“Research takes so much time, so it’s especially important to have support and encouragement from someone who is monitoring the current status of things,” she continues.  

At the end of November, Vegitific also went to the technology and start-up event Slush in Helsinki together with Krinova.  

“It was incredibly enriching to talk to other companies and hear about their journey,” says Michaela Sundqvist.