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01/12/2021 - 10:08

University graduates market freeze-dried Icelandic skyr invented at the University

University graduates market freeze-dried Icelandic skyr invented at the University - Available at University of Iceland

Two graduates from the University of Iceland's food science programme, Aníta Þórunn Þráinsdóttir and Guðrún Alfa Einarsdóttir, are determined to market their skyr flakes, originally designed in a University course. Frosti is a freeze-dried lactose-free Icelandic vanilla skyr with blue spirulina pigment. They are currently working on product development at the giant food company Nestlé in Switzerland after a successful winning streak in various innovation competitions recently. Aníta Þórunn and Guðrún Alfa say that their product is revolutionary in the dairy industry and will at the same time reduce food waste. 

The product is called Frosti Skyr and is a freeze-dried lactose-free Icelandic vanilla skyr that can be preserved for several years without preservatives. "The Skyr flakes are dissolved in water and the result is exactly the same yoghurt-like Icelandic product as before, with the same nutritional value, smell and all-round experience. We felt it was time to modernise this old Icelandic product and increase the possibilities," says Guðrún about their product, and adds that the flakes can also be used in smoothies.
An impressive success in innovation competitions

The idea for Frosti was sparked in the course "Development of Food Products" at the University of Iceland several semesters ago. Aníta and Guðrún then continued to work on the idea in the course "Ecological innovation in Food Science", and during a summer project with the support of the Student Innovation Fund.

The winter of 2020-2021 brought them great success as their idea received numerous awards and recognitions in innovation competitions and accelerators. Frosti Skyr received third prize in the annual Gullegg run by Icelandic Startups, a competition for young entrepreneurs to start realising their ideas. Guðrún Alfa and Aníta Þórunn also came in third with their product Ecotrophelia Europe, a European competition on ecological innovation in the food industry; a kind of Eurovison of foods if you will. 

Frosti Skyr was runner up in the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) organised by the University of Iceland for the first time in Iceland at the beginning of this year, in collaboration with the American Embassy in Iceland. AWE  aims at supporting women in further developing their business ideas and increasing their presence in innovation and entrepreneurship. "We believe it is important to have accelerators for participants to gain better knowledge and expand their network. It helps to keep you going and often makes you think of things you might not have realised otherwise. We expanded our network through the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)," says Anita who is a Master student in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Iceland.

Aníta Þórunn Þráinsdóttir and Guðrún Alfa Einarsdóttir are currently working on product development at the giant food company Nestlé in Switzerland. Asked about the future of Frosti Skyr they say they are filled with enthusiasm and belief in the project which has taken them far already. "The journey has not been without its challenges but we have always succeeded in learning from all the obstacles and the future is bright,"says Aníta. 

The product launched on the European market

The two young women have used their momentum to further develop their product. They  have been staying in Switzerland for the past few months where they are using facilities at Nestlé; one of the  world's largest food & beverage companies. 

"We already had a good prototype before we came here so we did not have to start from scratch; we could base our product development on the one we had. So Nestlé's role is to assist us with the development as we go forward. The product development involves developing a marketable product in six months. This is indeed a challenge but at the same to so incredibly exciting," says Guðrún.
Icelandic skyr is a unique dairy product that has been produced in Iceland for over 1100 years.  Skyr is the so-called super food of Icelanders, as it is naturally fat-free and very high in protein and is sold in many places all over the world. The new product is, however, completely different from the traditional skyr that can be found in shops in Europe and the United States. "We believe that Frosti Skyr is revolutionary to the dairy industry. This is an extremely wholesome product that at the same time decreases food waste and packaging; so it will be exciting to see how consumers will receive it," says Aníta.

The duo plans on putting their product on the European market at the beginning of next year. "It will be sold there for a few weeks to begin with, but we cannot currently disclose where exactly," says Guðrún.

Asked about the future of Frosti Skyr they say they are filled with enthusiasm and belief in the project which has taken them far already. "The journey has not been without its challenges but we have always succeeded in learning from all the obstacles and the future is bright,"concludes Aníta. 

Further information on Aníta's and Guðrún's viking food with an innovative twist can be found on the Frosti Skyr webiste and the product's instagram page.

Aníta Þórunn Þráinsdóttir and Guðrún Alfa Einarsdóttir,