The first-ever Garage48 Food 2021- greener food for a greener future

In co-organisation with Garage48, Estonian University of Life Sciences and Estonian Research Council, and in partnership with Polli Horticultural Research Centre, TFTAK, TalTech, Ministry of Rural Affairs, BioCC, and Tartu City, a first in its kind hackathon of food technology took place 22-24 October 2021 in Estonia, to find solutions to different challenges in the food industry.

How did Garage48 Food get started?

The global food system is responsible for up to 30% of total GHG emissions. There is no need to explain why we need more sustainable food production practices and the overall innovation in the food sector. For example, more and more people are switching to plant-based food alternatives, but the reality is that there is not enough product variety to supply the growing demand. On the other hand, we are facing enormous quantities of food loss as about 1/3 of the food produced worldwide never reaches the table. Also, as more and more products come to the market, it is important to raise consumer awareness and educate them on healthy and environmentally friendly choices, and much more. Garage48 food aimed at connecting visionaries, food enthusiasts, and professionals to empower the rise of more solutions and movements in the food sector.

For 48 hours, nearly 100 participants across 15 different countries forming 21 brightest teams hacked the challenges of the more sustainable future of food! The participants and mentors were mostly hacking online with some teams present on-site. 

“Who in their right mind would spend a weekend, skipping sleep and recreation time to sit in front of a computer, hacking away? Of course, people are passionate about their project and cause, someone who wants to get things done! As a digital designer, it is very interesting to see experts from different fields I know nothing about and would not have a chance to meet in daily life, doing their thing. Understanding nothing about how they do what they do, and being amazed at what can be done.”

Veli - G48 mentor, design

Winners of Garage48 Food

Favourite of the audience - Just enough portions, prize G48 T-shirts, and ElSavie “Health Starts From the Inside” fiber powder

Storage container with a lid that serves as a measurement tool for dry ingredients.

Team: Mikelis Janis Benuzs, Kitija Pekaine, Paula Benuza, Aija Freimane, Rihards Gaitnieks.

“ The mentors we talked to were incredibly nice and professional. We had a very progressive chat with them on our idea and how to develop it, some very valuable advice, and just an overall pleasant discussion. This really gave us some ideas and a good path on how to proceed.”

Paula Benuza

Just enough portions Team member

Team: Mikelis Janis Benuzs, Kitija Pekaine, Paula Benuza, Aija Freimane, Rihards Gaitnieks.

“ Garage48 brings together the most impossible ideas, inspires teams to believe and to act towards the best possible result in 48h! For our team, it was the possibility to take the next step in our new product development process and to acknowledge that our cross-sectoral expertise across family members and friends is a source to rely on. Thank you for the experience!”

Miķelis Jānis Benužs

 Just enough portions team member

Special mention on behalf of the Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs - Childfooded. A project that helps to raise consumer awareness and educates children about food. 

Prize: one on one business consultation on behalf of the Tartu Business Advisory Services, Tactical Foodpack package, and ElSavie “Health Starts From the Inside” fiber powder.

The aim of ChildFoodEd is to pre-hack the issues that are caused by a lack of awareness regarding food and nutrition. We believe the problem should be addressed at the root by educating children and teens as they are much more susceptible to new information. We intend to give them information about where their food is coming from, what is in it, and where it goes in the form of educational games, workshops, and hands-on experiences. All workshops would be organized in an age-appropriate manner giving them the tools to become food smart adults.

Team: Õnnela Luhila, Lachinkhanim Huseynli , Anna Angerjas, Hele-Riin Kukker, Shayan Khan, Pärlin Luhila

Special mention on behalf of the Estonian Research Council - Oat pudding rich in nutrients. They focus on the development of a local resource (oat) and hence, it is a very research-intensive project.

Prize: sTARTUp Day 2022 tickets.

The current puddings on the market are less in their nutritional values and contain high sugar amounts. Nowadays consumers are looking for much healthier and nutritious food products, free dairy, and free allergens. Our team offers an oat pudding with chocolate & cinnamon flavors, rich in proteins and dietary fibers with no sugar added.

Team: Monica Nabil Gayed Ibrahim, Misa Torii, Karl-Gustav Gimbutas, Alexey Nesterovich, Andi Binsol.

"Garage 48 Food was a lovely and great chance to meet a lot of mentors from different research institutes and producers and gave us a great chance to build our team to step on the first real stage for building our own brand and company. Thanks, Garage48 Food"

Monica Nabil Gayed Ibrahim

Oat pudding Team Lead

BIOCC laboratory prize (product launch kit) + Tartu Business Advisory Services one on one business consultation - Vazilio. The project contributes to the circular economy in food technology.

Carbonated juice drink with popping syrup balls in a branded reusable glass jar. Return packages-get a free beverage.

Team: Carl Edvard Roland Tiik, Andre Suursaar, Taaniel Hanniste

“Super awesome event, very nicely organized - participants had a really well-spent weekend! The mentors were supportive and guided throughout the preparation period. Especially liked the final pitch workshop. Thank you for the very first and positive experience! Let's keep hacking for the future! “

Andre Suursaar -

 Vazilio MAHLAMULL Team Lead

Polli Horticultural Research Center laboratory prize (Polli laboratory) - Vi. For a team that will innovatively use food production byproducts.

Vi offers healthy alternative to sugary sodas using waste from the food industry (apple peels, cores, pulp and other fruits) as a raw material to produce raw (unpasteurized) vinegars and turns them into sugar free natural functional beverages - sparkling vinegar drinks.

Team: Helis Heiter, Helene Vetik, Ragnar Kreis


Estonian University of Life Sciences laboratory + a business course by the Tartu Business Advisory Services - Coff.

The average person spends hundreds if not thousands of euros a year on coffee at coffee shops. That’s where our product comes in handy: you can make as good of a coffee that you would get from a cafe easily and effectively at home with our flavored creamers. Our flavored creamer does not only make the customer’s morning coffee quicker and the coffee itself tastier but is also vegan, which makes it suitable for everybody.

Team: Kairiin Koddala, Merly Käblik, Susanna Vassil, Cassandra Pastak

“ We are super happy with the award and we wanted to thank our mentors, for helping us and putting us on the right path. There is still a long way to go, but the start has been given and we can't wait for next week's laboratory visit!”

Kairiin Koddala

COFF Team Lead

TalTech laboratory prize - Body Buddies. Making a product more sustainable and healthier and by doing so, also saves animals´ lives.

Fish oil substitute in the form of hemp oil. An edible treat containing omega 3 fatty acids.

Team: Kiur Kimmel, Mark Jõgar, Jasper Jürisson

Tartu Business Advisory Services one on one business consultation winners - Techno Farmers

ML-based app to protect food plants, improve farmer yield, and mitigate food shortages. Advanced signal processing, convenient UX/UI - simple tool + large impact.

Team: Andreas Petrou, Aarti Sharma, Alex Maksiuta, Faiz Ikramulla, Kaur Parve, Kristaps Cirulis.

Tartu Biotechnology Park prize (one-on-one business consultation) - Fudo. Additionally, ElSavie “Health Starts From the Inside” fiber powder.

Our mission at Fudo is to simplify the communication between kitchens and retailers. We want to save everyone's time and money, by offering a simple and fast price analyzing and comparing tool on our platform.

Team: Claus Mootse, Katrin Päevakene, Karel Vendla, Robin Kütt

Second runner-up - Ring. Garage48 Design and software development mentorship prize.

Our aim is to provide a food purchase experience that does not create piles of packaging waste: an e-commerce app that delivers groceries to you're doorstep in reusable/recyclable/compostable packaging and returns the packaging after consumption to the appropriate facilities. The end goal would be to have totally circular grocery system where products come in reusable containers. And then the containers are returned, to be refilled by the producers.

Team: Kristjan Rette, Irina Ivanova, Liene Turlaja

First runner-up - Zeropunkt. Prize: Cleantech Estonia - enter the TOP20 of the biggest green ideas competition - ClimateLaunchpad 2022! A team that best shows how their solution benefits the positive environmental impact.

Reduce waste and reuse food that you don't consume at home/office. Zeropunkt 

developed an app to list the food that you don't consume and save the planet. Ambassadors offer the food to a meeting point and eaters pick it up

Team: Taavi Lindmaa, Andres Buzzio, Prajwal Neupane, Henrique Gabrielyan

Taavi Lindmaa - zeropunkt team lead

“ Garage48 Food helped Zeropunkt to form a team and make the idea come to life. While working online we have been more product - validated the market, gathered used feedback and have actual transactions within the app. We would like to thank the Amazing lineup of coaches and mentors to take the ideas to the next level.”

Taavi Lindmaa - Zeropunkt TeamLlead

OVERALL WINNER - Päästetud toidu kapp (Peek a Food)

TFTAK laboratory prize + a business course by the Tartu Business Advisory Services + ElSavie “Health Starts From the Inside” fiber powder.  

We want to create a link between consumers and food supply chains, by saving food from ending up in dumpsters at grocery stores. We will create a pick-up point at grocery stores that will gather food products nearing their best before dates or having a non-commercial look in one place.

Team: Mariel Luuk , Karolin Kelpman, Kerli Laur, Andreas Saltsberg, Marie Valdes

“ Thanks for organizing G48 Food! The fact that it has been online is very welcome! During this pandemic time, it is still possible to do sth productive. Even though on-site there is much more emotion, I'm glad it has been put together with an online option. So this time there was no obstacle in terms of location or even being sick”.

Mariel Luuk - participant Päästetud Toidu Kapp

Who made it all possible?

Organizers: Kadi Aguraijuja, Tamara Bezljudova, Indrek Tulp, Liis Rohtung, Karina Auli, Katrin Kepp, Lili Veesaar.

Host: Priit Salumaa - Co-Founder of Mooncascade and Garage48


Sven Kirsimäe - Chief Architect at R&D, Software and Data at Salto Network

Maido Parv - Senior Product DEsigner ar Wise

Veli- Johan Veromann - Designer and UX/UI Guru

Karl Viiol - Consultant and Investor relations at the Tartu Business Advisory Services

Triin Preem - Freelance innovator

Katrin Laikoja - Lecturer in food safety control systems at Estonian University of Life Sciences

Ivi Jõudu - Associate professor at the Estonian University of Life Sciences.

Raino Värnik - Professor and a Chair Holder of Rural Economics at the Estonian University of Life Sciences

Tõnu Püssa - Professor and senior researcher in food toxicology at the Estonian University of Life Sciences

Ants - Hannes Viira - Director of the Institute of Economics and Social Sciences at the Estonian University of Life Sciences

Uko Bleive - Project manager at the Estonian University of Life Sciences

Mati Roasto - Head of Food Safety Department at the Estonian University of Life Sciences

Katrin Jõgi - ERA Chair of Valortech at the Estonian University of Life Sciences

Katrin Tamm - Head Of Sustainability at Nordic Milk OÜ
Toivo Tähemaa - TalTech Institute of Mechanics and Industrial Engineering, researcher

Anneli Tuvike - DEputy Head of Food Safety Department at Republic of Estonia Ministry of rural Affairs
Katrin Lõhmus - Head of bureau of the general food requirements of the Food Safety department at Republic of Estonia Ministry of Rural Affairs

Kersti Ehrlich - Peets, PhD - Senior Researcher at BioCC OÜ

Liis Lutter - Manager of Food Product Development at BioCC OÜ
Timo Jaaska - Production Manager at BioCC OÜ

Rain Kuldjärv - Innovation specialist at TFTAK
Martti Tamm - Chief Technology Officer at Competence Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies (TFTAK)

Ene Viiard - Head of Innovation at Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies

Mari - Liis Tammik - Scientific Researcher at Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies

Kristel Vene - CEO at Flavodata and Senior Lecturer at TalTech

Petri-Jaan Lahtvee - Professor of Food Tech and Bioengineering at TalTech

Alexander Norta - Head of IEEE Blockchain Estonia and Associate Professor at TalTech

Partners: Participation in this event was supported by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund Estonian University of Life Sciences ASTRA Project „Value-chain based bioeconomy 2“ and Estonian Research Council via ResTA program.


#Garage48Food  #tartucity

About the author

tamara bezljudova

Tamara is the CMO at Garage48, her dog Luni is her biggest personality trait. She cares about the Garage48 mission and writes about the impact events make on global and local communities. Want to get featured? Contact her! 💁🏻‍♀️

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