Prof. Eva Tornberg

Eva Tornberg DUG
Eva Tornberg DUG
Eva Tornberg DUG

Striving to feed the ever-growing human population in generations to come, Eva and her team at ‘Veg of Lund’ are working on turning potatoes into meat. The scientific food innovation research body she founded at Lund University discovered that potatoes, one of the most cultivated crops able to grow in  many parts of the world, are also an underexploited source of protein with high local availability. Plus, they have a very low environmental impact! All in all, it looks like this major household staple for roughly 7,000 years may also be the answer for a sustainable future. Who would have thought?

In research, you have to turn things inside out in your head, and I find that very fascinating.

DUG Drinks

Did you know that some types of potatoes contain as many antioxidants as blueberries, that a hectare can yield over a quarter of a million portions of food, and that they were the first ever vegetable to be cultivated in space? Yes, indeed: it was the Columbia space shuttle in 1995! It simply looks like potatoes are a lot cheekier and more interesting than we thought. Thanks to a patented emulsion technology based on Eva’s research, potatoes are also the basis of the delicious, creamy, and vegan-friendly plant-based drink named DUG – a popular Swedish brand sold in Sweden, Ireland, and the UK.

But she hardly stopped there! For Eva, the biggest challenge to date was developing a meat analogue based on…you guessed it: potato. “It certainly was a big and scary step for us, without really knowing the outcome of it. Research doesn’t follow a set course, and I have to rethink things almost every day. With a continuous and systematic way of researching, we finally achieved a satisfying product.” Thanks to her love of problem-solving, Veg of Lund plans to launch a product serving as an alternative to today’s existing products made from white or red meat in the next two years.

Sustainability, for Eva, is more than a slogan. “It's about daring to think in new ways and find efficient production methods for healthy and energy-rich foods.”

A conscious habit Eva nurtures is never to give up, “because scientific work does not always follow the paths you have scheduled.” In her free time, she likes to solve crossword puzzles to get away from her continuous thinking of scientific problems. If she could send a message to her 20-year-old self, it would be: “Do not forget to laugh and have fun at work. Life is so short.”

More about Eva

“Potato in all forms: mashed potato, oven-baked potato, and rösti, for example.”

Free by Lea Ypö. That is a book that treats the difficulty of transforming a communist country like Albania into a democratic liberal state. It is not as easy a task as it seems.”

“Superheroes are not always that happy. For me, trying to make a decent life with a sense of humor is a better approach to living.”

“Solving problems and seeing how it all works in reality.”

“I am like an open book, so there is nothing to hide.”

I am quite happy as it is and I am not looking for another life-time.

“…my husband, who has helped and inspired me for almost 50 years.”