What are the most important areas for plant-based research?
“We need investment in specific topics like special crops, new crops, value systems that involve farmers,” Matthias Kron, President of Donau Soja, said during one of our webinars, on a discussion of the need for more research and budgets for plant-based foods to help accelerate the shift to sustainable food systems.
Alongside our Summits and Courses, we are also involved in four European Union research projects: Plenitude, ProFuture, HealthFerm, and Giant Leaps, which are all accelerating the global agenda for a sustainable food industry.
Learn more about the EU Projects below:
Vision: To create cost-effective and environmentally responsible microalgae production technologies capable of providing sustainable and nutritious protein-rich foods and feeds.
ProFuture is a European-funded Horizon 2020 research project aiming to scale up microalgae production and prepare the market uptake of microalgae proteins as ingredients for innovative and sustainable food and feed products. The project will last for 4 years (2019-2023) and it is coordinated by the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA) in Spain.
Vision: HealthFerm is committed to transitioning towards a more sustainable global food system by setting new standards for individual, societal, and planetary health through the increased and more resource-efficient use of plant-based raw materials in foods.
HealthFerm is a European research project investigating innovative pulse and cereal-based food fermentations together with the health effects and consumer perception of novel fermented foods. Fermented foods have gained a reputation for being beneficial to health. However, with the exception of yoghurt and other cultured dairy products, little concrete evidence exists for the actual health benefits of fermented foods. Therefore, the HealthFerm project performs several human intervention studies to better understand the interaction between food fermentation microbiomes, fermented grain-based foods, and the human gut microbiome and how they support human health. A community-science approach plays a vital part in collecting diverse food fermentation microbiomes used to design innovative fermented plant-based foods with optimal health benefits.
Vision: GIANT LEAPS is accelerating the transition from animal-based to alternative dietary proteins to work towards a safe, health-promoting, and sustainable food system.
In line with the EU Green Deal objectives and the Farm to Fork Strategy, GIANT LEAPS aims to transform the European food system to make it more sustainable and healthier. Our ambition is to substitute the consumption of traditional animal proteins in the European diets so that 50% of total protein dietary intake is derived from alternative protein sources - such as plants, microalgae, insects, and single-cell proteins - by 2030. By accelerating the dietary shift, GIANT LEAPS contributes to sustainable value chains and food systems, climate mitigation solutions, improved public health, economic growth, and job creation.
Vision: The aim of the partnership Plenitude is to increase the availability of sustainable, safe food-grade protein by successfully building and operating large-scale, first-of-its-kind bio-based value chain producing safe food-grade protein sourced from sustainable sources such as primary grains (wheat), using an integrated biorefinery setup.
PLENITUDE is building (operational 2022) a bio-based value chain based around the installation and operation of a unique, zero-waste process that couples unique, an aerobic fermentation plant that produces a food-grade protein. The inputs into the biorefinery are sustainable cereal crops. The PLENITUDE process takes a proportion of the input into the biorefinery as a side-stream to feed an aerobic fermentation process which converts it to mycoprotein, an established high-quality protein used as a meat alternative.
The focus of this project is on finding, developing, and marketing mycoprotein, a food ingredient derived from a filamentous micro-organism, Fusarium Venenatum in: Food markets (meat, meat-free, dairy-free, and many other applications), Petfood, Bio-plastics, and Cultured meat.
Check out PLENITUDE's website.
As part of a joint initiative led by Bridge2Food and the European Alliance for Plant-Based Foods (EAPF), as a coalition of more than 60 organisations calls on the European Commission to increase Horizon Europe R&I funds for plant-based foods. As part of this initiative the two organizations released a joint letter and a joint paper. As well, 11 thought-leaders created videos discussing the need for increased funding, watch here.