PROTEIN2FOOD’s aim is to develop innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient plant proteins –rich food sources with positive impact on human health, the environment and biodiversity. The quality and quantity of protein from selected highly nutritious seed crops (quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat), and legumes with high protein quantity (lupin, faba beans, pea, chickpea, lentil) will be significantly enhanced by using a multi-disciplinary approach that will include genetic, agronomic, food process engineering, sensory, socio-economic, and environmental assessment.
Research is expected to improve the quality of plant proteins, produced in Europe, and of the sustainability of their production and processing. Through a better understanding of the: i) genetic mechanisms driving the protein formation and accumulation in the seed, ii) plant performance towards biotic and abiotic stresses, and iii) protein interactions with other components in the food matrix and its sensory repercussions in the final food products, this research should lead to the development of adapted plant protein sources with positive impact on environment and biodiversity as well as human health.
Expected results in the project are: i) enhance the protein production by 25% through new effective breeding techniques and optimised crop management with an increase by 10% of the EU’s arable land destined to protein-crop production, using also marginal soils, ii) accelerate protein transition from animal-based protein to plant based protein in Europe with clear impact on reduction of carbon footprint, iii) increase EU agro-biodiversity by introducing promising high quality crops and legumes. Further, activities will support the prototypes of new protein-rich-protein food with exceptional market potential. Finally, we will improve the EU’s visibility in the area of food processing and technology through high impact factors scientific publications.