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Smart Protein for a Changing World. Future-proof alternative terrestrial protein sources for human nutrition encouraging environment regeneration, processing feasibility and consumer trust and accepta

Project description

Developing future-proofed protein supply chains

Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body. All food made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds are considered part of the protein group. The main challenge is ensuring global access to healthy diets from sustainable food systems. The EU-funded SMART PROTEIN project is addressing this issue through future-proofed protein supply chains with a positive impact on the bio-economy, environment, biodiversity, food and nutrition security and consumer trust. It is validating and demonstrating innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient plant protein products from fava bean, lentil, chickpea and quinoa. Microbial biomass proteins will be created from edible fungi by upcycling side streams from pasta (pasta residues), bread (bread crust) and beer (spent yeast and malting rootlets) industries.


It is undeniable that protein is an indispensable part of the human diet, but the way we produce and consume it today presents many challenges, in terms of both global consumption patterns and their social, environmental and economic impacts. Providing a growing global population with healthy diets from sustainable food systems is therefore an immediate challenge. SMART PROTEIN aims to industrially validate and demonstrate innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient, EU-produced, nutritious plant (fava bean, lentil, chickpea, quinoa) and microbial biomass proteins from edible fungi by up-cycling side streams from pasta (pasta residues), bread (bread crust) and beer (spent yeast and malting rootlets) industries. The alternative SMART protein will be used for the production of ingredients and products for direct human consumption, through developing future-proofed protein supply chains with a positive impact on bio-economy, environment, biodiversity, human nutrition, food and nutrition security and consumer trust and acceptance. These priorities will be addressed through global partnerships forged with consortium members from Europe, North America, Israel, Thailand and New Zealand to develop and demonstrate a climate-smart, sustainable protein-food system for a healthy Europe. We will harness plant and microbial protein knowledge to significantly enhance the sustainability and resilience of a new European protein supply chain, improve professional skills and competencies, and support the creation of new jobs in the food sector and bioeconomy.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 440 970,19
T12 YN60 Cork

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Ireland Southern South-East
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 499 360,33

Participants (33)