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Equinom computational breeding system

Project description

Technology to create crops with twice as much protein to satisfy EU needs

The demand for clean label, plant-based, protein-rich products is growing because consumers are choosing to replace animal products with plant-based, protein-enriched ones. For reasons such as major vegetable protein deficits, the European food industry cannot meet the demand for such products. The EU-funded ECBS project will deliver an advanced, cost-efficient, non-genetically modified organism computational breeding technology that develops customised crops based on food industry requirements. Crops with particular features will be produced that are 10 times more accurate than at present. The project envisions crops with 50 % more protein and superior nutritional values compared to commercial varieties.


Protein is critical to human health, but the way we produce and consume it today presents many challenges, both in terms of global consumption patterns as well as their social, environmental and economic impacts. Consumers, aware of the impact a carnivorous diet has on health, animal welfare, and the environment, aim to replace animal products with plant-based protein-enriched products, which explains an increasing demand for clean-label plant-based protein-rich products. However, of the total plant protein produced, less than half is used for human consumption, with just three crops (maize, wheat and rice) accounting for about 50% of the world’s consumption of calories and plant protein. Regarding the EU, the European Union is suffering from a major deficit in vegetable proteins mainly due to the needs of its livestock sector, being dependent on imports from third countries. In order to put an end to this dependency, the EU is building a strategy to promote protein crops, encouraging the production of protein and leguminous plants in EU’s agriculture. On the other hand, the lack of cost-effective plant-proteins diversity (dominant species are soy and pea), organoleptic and functional challenges, and low protein content and quality, is holding-back the market. The food industry is therefore unable to satisfy consumer demand for affordable tasty plant-based protein-enriched products.
Via our advanced and non-GMO computational breeding technology (ECBS), we are able to develop customized crops based on the food industry needs, i.e. with those traits required by the industry. This cost-efficient technology enables to create crops with specific traits much more accurately (>10 times higher). On that basis, to meet the current plant protein needs in the industry, we are able to create crops with 50% more protein, better functional (e.g. up to 75% more solubility) and higher nutritional values than commercial varieties.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
6094800 Givat Brenner

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00