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From pastries to vegan hamburgers, from sports clothes to cosmetics, from antifreeze agents in vaccines to replacements for microplastics. The sugar beet is more versatile and innovative than one would expect.
Editorial office / Dinteloord

To highlight this, Cosun Beet Company is showing 130 surprising applications of the sugar beet in the Bright Beet Book. The book itself is the first example: it is the world’s first book made from sugar beet paper.

Leading the way

Cosun Beet Company sees a role for sugar beet in the global challenge to eliminate the use of fossil sources and achieve climate neutrality in 2050. “As Cosun Beet Company, we want to be at the forefront in this transition,” said Paul Mesters, CEO of Cosun Beet Company.

“Through cooperation and innovation in the supply chain, our ambition is to be a pioneer in the circular economy. The Bright Beet Book is bursting with innovations showing how we and our partners can lead the transition from fossil to circular. Take our recent partnership with Avantium to produce plant-based components from sugars to build green plastics,.”

Sugar beet is a versatile source of food and non-food applications. Think of new bio materials that can replace fossil raw materials in textiles, detergents, paints and countless other applications. “Much of what we see around us is made out of beet components, or can be,” says Mesters.

More than sugar

The Cosun innovation center in Dinteloord is constantly on the look-out for new products and innovations. For example, Cosun Beet Company has devised an application using special fibres made from beet pulp. “They are already being applied in skin care products in the cosmetics market,” says Mesters. “We are getting everything we can out of the beet.”

The CEO of Cosun Beet Company wants to extract even more value out of the beet. “In our hands, this exceptional plant is entirely circular. Our entre production process is already completely waste-free. The product range has become much wider in recent years. Yes, the beet is a lot more than just sugar. Our ambition is to have non-sugar products account for a third of the profit we earn on sugar beet in 10 years’ time.”

Paul Mesters hands over first Bright Beet Book to Dirk van der Lugt

The first copy of the Bright Beet Book was symbolically handed over to Dirk de Lugt, Chairman of the Royal Cosun cooperative of 9,000 sugar beet growers, during an online talk show on 25 November. The talk show inspired and motivated by guest speakers such as Werner Schouten (former chairman of the Young Climate Movement), Willemijn Witteveen (Director Business Development, Avantium) and Dr John Chapman (Senior Scientist Microbiology, Unilever). Top chef Estée Strooker gave a live cookery demonstration based on sugar beet.

The Bright Beet Book is not only available on paper, but also online. The talk show has been recorded and can be watched online.

Image: Cosun Beet Company