Aalto Thesis

Project Valio - Plant-based Food Innovations

In this Aalto Thesis project, a student team of two is working together with researchers from Valio to tackle challenges within the plant-based food industry. The multidisciplinary team is investigating both economic and technical aspects of plant-based food innovations. Read more below!
Two bowls of blueberry porridge and a green kitchen towel.
Valio brings more than 100 new products to market annually / photo: Valio

The partner

Valio is one of the key innovators in the food industry, especially in milk and milk-based products. With a formidable research and development organization, Valio brings more than 100 new products to market annually. Valio recently expanded from dairy products to plant-based alternatives, where it can leverage its capabilities to answer changing customer needs.

The challenge

Plant-based ingredients may have challenges in taste, technical functionalities, and nutrition.

  • How to create plant-based products that have similar attributes to their dairy-based counterparts?

The objective

The objective of the project is to support Valio’s R&D team in assessing technical and economic aspects of processing plant-based products. On the technical front, the focus is the optimization of process parameters, while the economic assessment centres on creating supporting material to be used to make business decisions regarding potential implementation.

We seek new innovations and fresh perspectives to support our research in plant-based products.

Soila Kananen, Innovation Manager, Valio

The student team

In this project, the student team consists of two Aalto Master’s students from different fields focusing on various aspects of the partner's challenge:

Perttu Karjalainen

International Design Business Management | School of Business

  • Assessment of the business viability of alternative approaches to the processing of plant-based products

Julia Myllyviita

Industrial Energy Processes and Sustainability, Advanced Energy Solutions | School of Chemical Engineering

  • Optimization of novel plant-based food process


The time frame of this project is February 2020 – September 2020.

I value the hands-on experience gained by working with professionals during this project.

Julia Myllyviita, Process Engineer student

Kemian ja kauppatieteen opiskelijat kehittivät kasvipohjaisia tuotteita Valion kanssa

Kahden maisteriopiskelijan tiimi teki yhteistyötä Valion kanssa Aalto Thesis -projektissa puolen vuoden ajan.

Read about the project outcome!
Two lab-coated women in a laboratory looking at pipes.

Aalto Thesis is a programme for an integrated project-based and work-life oriented Master’s thesis, executed as a part of a multidisciplinary student team. In the programme, a group of 2-4 students from different Aalto Schools is formed to jointly solve a multidimensional challenge given by a real work-life partner. Each student writes an individual thesis from the perspective of their field, guided by their supervisor, but the topics of all the students are connected through a common challenge.

Aalto Thesis -tiimi

Aalto Thesis
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