Identification, cultivation and processing opportunities for new protein sources
To keep our food pattern and food system as diverse as possible, it is important that we do not limit ourselves to plant sources, but also look at other interesting protein sources, and how they can be grown as efficiently as possible.
The goal is to integrate new protein sources, other than plants, in our food and in animal feed. In addition to vegetable proteins, many interesting opportunities can be found in the cultivation of animal and microbial cells, algae and fungi. In addition, the consumption of 'lower' animal species such as insects and molluscs, which score better in terms of sustainability and/or have fewer objections in terms of animal welfare, can also be examined. However, the cultivation of these new protein sources still faces many challenges in terms of cultivation, scaling up and efficiency, food safety and legislation. On the other hand, they also offer a lot of potential in making animal production more sustainable, because they may offer a good alternative to plant-based animal feeds that fit into a circular system.
Through exploratory and fundamental research, new sources can be identified, while investigating the possibilities for large-scale cultivation and estimating the risks to food safety. It is also important to take into account the technological and economic feasibility, including the sustainability aspects and legislation. Finally, more knowledge on functionality and nutritional quality will lead to more concrete product developments based on these new protein sources.
Options for, and optimisation of protein extraction processes from different types of protein sources
Development and formulation of new, high-quality protein-rich consumer products
Research into the functionality and key properties of protein structures
The protein shift in a broader social context
Identification and cultivation adaptation of protein-rich crops
Reuse of by-products for and from protein production