A very warm welcome to Geert van Royen, R&D Manager, and Keshia Broucke, Research Associate from ILVO to the Global Plant-Based Foods & Proteins EcoSystem. ILVO, Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is an independent scientific research institute of the Flanders Government, and they have recently joined the EcoSystem as a research partner. Read on to learn more about ILVO, and how the EcoSystem can contribute to ILVO’s goals to accelerate the protein transition!
Can you shortly describe ILVO as a research institute?
ILVO performs multidisciplinary, ground-breaking, and independent research with one main mission: to build knowledge that will make it possible to produce enough healthy and varied food for the 10 billion people that the world will need to feed while staying within our planetary limits. The biggest additional value ILVO can offer in this research is our possibility to perform integrated fundamental and applied research from farm to fork. ILVO is equipped with experimental fields, greenhouses, animal housings, and a pilot plant for the food industry which can be used as living labs, but also several accredited labs, a standardized taste lab with experts, trained and semi-trained panel, and the expertise of our more than 600 employees and staff members.
How did you hear about the Bridge2Food Global Plant-Based Foods & Proteins EcoSystem?
We met Russel Ward from Bridge2Food and he introduced to us the Global Plant-based Foods & Protein EcoSystem. The EcoSystem is very important for ILVO to further enlarge our network and facilitate knowledge exchange. This will result in more (project) cooperation, solution-oriented thinking for certain challenges, enlarge the impact of our research, and lift the ILVO infrastructure and expertise to an even higher international level.
What is the main challenge for the globe in relation to the protein transition?
ILVO’s research on protein diversification is part of the goal to introduce various proteins in a balanced human diet, where we focus on various protein sources like plants (such as grains, seeds, vegetables, nuts…), algae (macro- and microalgae included), microbial proteins (such as single-cell, macrofungi) and insects (mealworm and black soldier fly). Hereby several aspects are taken into account such as functionality, nutrition, sustainability, and sensory.
What kind of role in the transition would your organisation like to fulfill?
For ILVO it is very important to involve the entire production chain from field to fork and to fully characterise proteins, specifically to understand their techno-functional, nutritional, and sensory properties and interactions with other food components in order to produce quality products that are accepted by consumers.
About the EcoSystem
275+ Industry Leaders from 110 Organisations are partnering since 2019 in the Global Plant-Based Foods EcoSystem, to accelerate the transition towards a more plant-based diet, with better foods, produced in a sustainable way, as well as increase food security with an abundant supply of proteins for food, feed, and pet food markets.
Innovation, Research & Development Leaders from Food Brands, Ingredient & Processing Companies, Institutes, Universities, Grower Associations, and Breeders collaborate on such a future with concrete actions, deliverables, and outcomes. To be involved in the EcoSystem and to join bi-weekly meetings, you can register here. To get all details on the EcoSystem, you can check out this page.