Specific challenge: Valorisation of proteins from side streams of the agro-food sector, e.g. bioethanol or starch production from cereal grains, represents a promising alternative to animal protein products. Current processing and conversion concepts (e.g. mechanical milling, chemical extraction, proteolysis) have limitations in terms of the quality of resulting products (protein content, functionality, taste, etc) thus restricting the application range in food processing. The challenge is to overcome these limitations in state-of-the-art technologies via the development of sustainable processes yielding market attractive products that meet consumers demands.
Scope: Development of industrially viable processing concepts for the valorisation of protein products from plant residues(e.g. from bioethanol or cereal starch processing industries) fulfilling market requirements (functionality, taste, purity, cost, safety) in the food segment using animal proteins as benchmark. Proposals should address techno-functional and sensorial properties of products, showing clear advancements beyond the state of the art in terms of added value and extended product portfolio and application range. A life-cycle assessment should be carried out in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the developed products. Safety aspects are also to be considered. The feasibility of integrating the proposed concept into existing industrial processing chains should be assessed.
It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of at least EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.
Increasing the value of the protein fraction by at least 100%.
Achieving a conversion rate of at least 30 % of the protein fractions in processed streams to high-value products suitable for human consumption, with a protein content at least 40%.
Achieving technologial validation of at least 3 food products based on the recovered plant-based proteins, ready for demonstration.
Opening of new markets for the European agro industry in food applications currently dominated by animal proteins.