The PROTEIN2FOOD project is an ambitious new project that will focus on the development of innovative, cost effective and resource efficient healthy foods using different proteins that are derived from seed crops (quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat) and legumes (lupin, faba beans, pea, chickpea and lentils). The research will take a multi-disciplinary approach and will draw on the expertise of a large consortium of partners from academia, research and importantly, industrial partners that represent the entire value chain. The consortium is predominantly European but also includes partners from Uganda and Peru. The University of Copenhagen will coordinate.
The project outputs are expected to improve the quality and availability of plant proteins that are produced in Europe, and of the sustainability of their production and processing. This will be achieved through the development of better understanding of the: i) genetic mechanisms driving the protein formation and accumulation in the seed, ii) plant performance towards biotic and abiotic stresses, iii) tailor made bioprocessing technologies for protein alternatives to soy and meat, and iv) protein interactions with other components in the food matrix and its sensory repercussions in the final food products.
The project aims to enable: (i) enhanced protein production in Europe by 25% through new effective breeding techniques and optimised crop management; (ii) a 10% increase in EU arable land that is utilised for protein-crop production, using regular and marginal soils; (iii) accelerated protein transition from animal- to plant-based protein in Europe with a clear impact on reduction of the carbon footprint; (iv) increased agro-biodiversity in the EU by introducing promising high quality crops and legumes and (v) support for prototypes production of new protein-rich foods with exceptional market potential.
It is anticipated that the project will start in early 2015.