Image: Fejø Krabber

Turning crabs from a pest into a tasty soup

Thursday 06 Sep 18


Henning Høgh Jensen
Head of Division
National Food Institute
+45 40 25 12 22


Kristoffer Buch
Project Manager
+45 21 18 00 63

A soup made with invasive crabs has won first place in an innovation competition at DTU, which the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, has been involved in.

Invasive crabs pose a problem in Danish waters, partly because they compete with valuable fish species for food and partly because they damage the catch that is caught in the fishermen's nets. While the fishermen can sell the young crabs, they have very few ways of turning a profit from the older crabs.

In order to create value from the unused resource, a group who participated in the Innovation Competition FoodHack # 2 at DTU has developed a recipe that transforms the pests into a tasteful bisque. The group has also developed ideas for how the residual products from the soup making process can be turned into flour and used for example in crab flavoured snacks food or in fish feed.

The innovation challenge FoodHack #2

The idea for how you turn the crabs into a gastronomic resource is among solutions, which nine groups made up of 32 students from 17 countries have developing during the innovation challenge FoodHack #2. The competition focused on finding solutions to four societal challenges relating to sustainable food production or nutritious foods for developing countries.

The bisque idea won first place in its category and was also named the competition’s overall winner. The group was awarded 10,000 Danish kroner, three months of free access to DTU Skylab’s facilities and support from a coach to further develop the idea.

Better use of camel whey

In response to one of the other challenges in the competition, participants have developed new nutritious foods containing local cereals and the waste product whey from cheese production for Ethiopian children and mothers. The challenge has arisen from a research project in which researchers from the National Food Institute and the University of Copenhagen have made it possible to make cheese from camel milk in East Africa.

The winning idea is protein-enriched cereals made in a low-tech and inexpensive way by soaking the grain in the protein-containing whey and then sun drying it. As is the case with the other ideas from the competition, it would be necessary to further test the concept before it can be implemented.

Testrun of Foodlab

FoodHack #2 is the first event to be help in DTU Skylab’s new food production facility Foodlab – an international hub for innovation within food science, where lecturers and students at DTU as well as the country’s chefs, who want to have the knowledge and skills to introduce new technology in their kitchens.

Foodlab will officially open on 24 September 2018.

Read more

Find out more about the four FoodHack #2 challenges on the competition’s website. The team behind the willing bisque is made up of three students: Kyriaki Chanioti, Nicolai Jensen and Laila Snevele.

About FoodHack #2

The competition is organized by DTU Skylab in order to increase innovation within Greater Copenhagen’s smaller food businesses. The event is co-organized by Krinova Incubator & Science Park with support from the political platform Greater Copenhagen, which covers the regions of Skåne, Zealand and the Capital Region of Denmark.

The competition helps businesses and NGOs find science-based solutions to practical problems they are facing, while giving students the chance to work on real-world challenges.

The National Food Institute and DTU Skylab have more innovation competitions involving food in the pipeline and would like to hear from businesses, who are interested in sponsoring these events and have a good idea for a societal challenge that the participants can solve.
21 JANUARY 2020