The EU Horizon 2020 project NextGenProteins officially started today at a kick-off meeting held at Matís in Reykjavík, Iceland. This is a 4 year project, consisting of 21 partners from 10 European countries.
NextGenProteins will optimise the production of three alternative proteins and verify their use in various feed and food applications, in order to meet customers’ needs and ensure consumer acceptance. The project will contribute to strengthening food security, sustainability and self-sufficiency of EU protein production by demonstrating the suitability and economic viability of next-generation proteins as part of food and feed value chains; with less strain on natural resources and reduced environmental impacts.
NextGenProtein’s concept is simple but highly ambitious: to optimise and validate the production of three alternative proteins through resource efficient bioconversion processes and demonstrate their suitability in an industrially relevant environment as addition to, or substitute of, traditional protein sources. The project will serve as a platform for industrial partners/entrepreneurs to take their innovations to the next level by turning them into relevant, credible products and thus, accelerate market-driven, customer- and consumer-responsive innovative EU alternative protein production. This will contribute to EU’s food security and its goal of future proofing food and feed supply chains in a world faced with climate change, resource scarcity, increasing waste and aging population.
The methodology of NextGenProteins will focus on bioconversion of underutilized resources with the intention of expanding the sustainable European protein selection available for food and feed. Underutilized resources, e.g. plantbased biomass, often contain low or no amounts of protein; still they can be transformed through organism-based conversion processes that break them down, utilize their energy and convert into high quality proteins. NextGenProteins has identified three processes, each of which will use an industrial waste stream to yield three different alternative protein products: microalgae protein meal, insect protein meal and single cell protein (SCP) meal from microbes. These three protein production processes were carefully selected from previous or ongoing European projects, based on their suitability for the topic Alternative proteins for food and feed, and their complementarity with EU initiatives.
Further informations and news about the project can be found on the project website www.nextgenproteins.eu.