“Veggie it” won the 1st place among sixteen applications at the 6th ECOTROPHELIA 2016 National Ecological and Innovative Food Products Competition. The product came from the collaboration of the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) and the Institute of Agricultural Products of HAO-DEMETER. Members of the research team of ITAP were Dr. Georgia Ouzounidou, Dr. Chryssoula Tassou, Dr. Nikos Chorianopoulos and Eleftherios Eleftheriadis. The members of the AUA team were Assistant Professor Panagiotis Skandamis, the postdoctoral students Anthoula Argyri, Olga Papadopoulou and Anastasia Kapetanakou, as well as the PhD Candidates Iphigenia Makariti, Nikolaos Grivokostopoulos, Maria Gerekou, Danae Siderakou and postgraduate students Katerina-Aithra Sterioti and Dimitra Tagouli. “Veggie it” is an indulgent, high nutritious, Ready-to-eat sandwich-buscuit filled with raw freeze-dried vegetables.

The high nutritional value of “Veggie it” is attributed to its high content in vitamins and dietary fibers. It is also gluten free and contains β-glucan, which benefits consumers’ health by lowering cholesterol and blood glucose and improving the health of the gastrointestinal system. The easy handling and low energy demands of freeze-dried vegetables and the origin of beta-glucan (by-product exploitation; mushroom processing wastes) along with the non-necessity for cooling and the low environmental footprint (recyclable package)  compose its ecological character. The award ceremony of the winners took place on Thursday 30 June 2016 in Egli Zappeion.