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Chemistry and business students developed plant-based products with Valio

A team of two Master’s students collaborated with Valio in a 6-month Aalto Thesis project. The students researched the optimisation of plant-based products’ processes from a technical and business-oriented point of view through their Master’s theses.
Two lab-coated women in a laboratory looking at pipes.
Research and product development is important for Valio / photo: Valio

Aalto Thesis is Aalto University’s project-based programme where multidisciplinary student teams tackle the partner organisations’ challenges through Master’s theses. Valio was one of Aalto Thesis programme’s 2020 collaborative partners. The company, often known for its dairy products, has increased research and innovation in plant-based products. 'Valio wants to be a strong player in the plant-based game,' tells Niina Valkonen, Technology Manager from Valio. In collaboration with Valio’s research experts, the student team of two got to further the plant-based research.

The students Julia Myllyviita and Perttu Karjalainen combined chemistry and business studies to accomplish the project's common goal. The challenge in Valio's Aalto Thesis project was to research manufacturing process and profitability of plant-based products.

'It has been nice to collaborate with the students. Aalto Thesis has been a good process and we have learned a lot!' thanks Mika Immonen, Research Scientist from Valio.

It has been nice to collaborate with the students. Aalto Thesis has been a good process and we have learned a lot!

Mika Immonen, Research Scientist, Valio

Interdisciplinary research results from two Master's theses

The collaboration project with Valio was ongoing from February to September 2020. By the end of the project, the student team had finished their Master's theses and presented the interdisciplinary results to Valio. The students gave research-based recommendations to Valio about optimising plant-based product's processes and knowledge to support decision-making.

'We will surely utilise the results of the project,' states Saara Pöyri, SVP Technology & Product Development from Valio.

Julia Myllyviita is finishing her studies in the Industrial Energy Processes and Sustainability programme in the School of Chemical Engineering and her Master's thesis supervisor was Professor Pekka Oinas. Perttu Karjalainen is graduating from the International Design Business Management programme in the School of Business and his supervisor was University Lecturer Ville Eloranta.

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