Expansion of the Food Pilot to achieve a complete Plant Protein Pilot, where the entire process from protein-rich vegetable raw material to extruded (HME) product can be carried out on a pilot scale
The Plant protein Pilot is an EFRO investment project for the expansion of the Food Pilot Living lab with a pilot line for isolating and concentrating high-quality protein from plant-based raw materials. There are still many knowledge gaps regarding the impact of various processing steps on the functionality of plant-based proteins. This pilot line opens up possibilities to carry out the various process steps in a controlled manner, to study the impact and then optimise the steps. This Plant Protein line consists of devices for dehulling, degreasing, spinning, decanting, clarifying and purifying plant-based proteins. Creating this pilot line makes it possible to process protein concentrates/isolates into various end products from the bakery, meat, dairy and other sectors, possibly with an intermediate step to texurise the protein.
The project is geared towards various sub-sectors of the food sector, the primary target group for this project. The pilot line will form a good simulation for the process lines of ingredient suppliers. The rest of the food industry will also benefit from the knowledge generated about the various plant-based proteins and the impact of the various processing steps. The meat, bakery, dairy, prepared meals, etc. sectors are confronted with protein transition and diversification challenges. The second target group is the Flemish agricultural and horticultural sector. This sector also faces the worldwide challenge of linking animal proteins to a shift towards the valorisation of plant-based proteins.
Flanders’ FOOD manages and coordinates the project. This EFRO project is a collaboration between ILVO and Flanders' FOOD and funded by Europe and the province of East Flanders.