The European Protein2Food project (2015-2020) is aimed at improving varieties, production and processing of protein crops for human consumption. The project focuses on legumes with high protein content (such as lupin, faba beans, pea, chickpea, lentil), as well as on seed crops containing specific high-quality proteins (such as quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat). These crops have a positive effect on human health, the environment and biodiversity, but their production is hampered by generally low yields and the limited availability of alternative varieties. Research institutes, commercial companies and universities from 12 countries are now working together in an international consortium to increase the sustainability of the plant protein production chain.
In addition to plant breeding and developing sustainable varieties, the Protein2Food project also explores possibilities for developing new food products based on lupin and faba beans. As part of this objective, researchers are looking into protein extraction methods and innovative processing technologies to produce vegetarian meat, plant-based dairy alternatives and low-allergenic food products (e.g. baby food). Socio-economic analyses, taste tests and environmental impact assessments are included in their research.
Network of contacts across the entire production chain
Researchers of the Louis Bolk Institute are involved in the Protein2Food project because of their know-how and network of contacts across the plant protein production chain. Edwin Nuijten will contribute his expertise in crop breeding and variety comparisons, while Udo Prins will work on crop production optimisation, focussing on disease resistance, early ripening and product quality of blue and white lupin, faba beans and quinoa. At a later stage of the project, Peter Voshol will conduct consumer surveys to investigate consumers' attitudes and opinions with regard to food products based on plant protein.
About the Protein2Food project
The project Protein2Food: Development of high-quality food protein through sustainable production and processing is conducted in various countries including Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Romania and the Netherlands. It is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.
Breeding and crop production optimisation of blue lupin is an important part of the Protein2Food project
Lupin beans salad