September 30, Bilthoven – Official start of PROMINENT, a new bio-based industries public-private partnership project
There is a global need to increase dietary intake of plant protein, both from a sustainability but also food security and nutritional perspective. While search for new protein crops is one option, efficient use of currently available raw materials also offers large potential for increasing the number and volume of plant protein food ingredients. Wheat and rice are globally the most cultivated grains after corn.
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Side-streams from wheat and rice processing offer large under-exploited raw material potential for recovery and development of new ingredients such as protein and dietary fibre. While addressing the global food security demand for increased amounts of dietary protein, intensification of the current processes by better use of their side streams also offers means to improve the economy of these processes. For consumer food companies, availability of new protein ingredients offers new business opportunities in terms of development of new high-protein product concepts.
Under the project name PROMINENT which stems from PROtein MINing of Cereal side-streams Exploring Novel Technological Concepts, various partners have decided to join forces in a Bio-Based Industries project under the Horizon 2020 umbrella (European Union funding for Research & Innovation). Participants in PROMINENT are: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (project leader), Südzucker AG (Germany), AB Enzymes (Germany), Upfront (Denmark), United Biscuits (United Kingdom), Barilla (Italy), Olvi (Finland), LUKE (Finland) and Bridge2Food (The Netherlands).
According to Dr. Emilia Nordlund, research team leader of Food Solution at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., ”this project is expected to generate innovations on resource efficient value chains for plant-based protein products which will contribute to a more sustainable and competitive bio-based economy”.
Südzucker and BENEO, the world’s largest sugar producer and its subsidiary, a leading company in functional ingredients from rice, chicory root, sugar and wheat, and dedicated to nutrition and health, are keen to explore new ways to proteins for the food industry. Valorizing protein streams by innovative process concepts is therefore a key focus and the reason why we are engaging ourselves in Prominent” Dr. Alain Graf, R&D protein platform manager at Südzucker/BENEO”.
”Barilla, the world’s largest pasta producer, wants to be close to the development of new ingredients derived from wheat and rice processing”, said Giovanni Tribuzio, responsible for Research on Primary Processing and Strategic Raw Materials, ”this project will bring us in close touch with science leaders and food ingredient innovation, and this can help us develop new sustainable, nutritionally balanced products, in line with our way of doing business: ”Good for You, Good for the Planet”.
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) is in charge of sustainability assessment with key know-how to analyse and verify whether the total environmental impacts of new protein ingredients and their supply chains are remarkably lower compared to the animal based protein products. According to Juha-Matti Katajajuuri, Research Programme Manager at Luke (and WP leader), ”this project fits very well in the current discussions on making economies more circular, where at the same time social aspects should be considered as we do in this important project. The future of food industry is closely connected to making chains more efficient and sustainable in terms of circular economy”.
About the Joint Undertaking on Bio-based Industries (BBI)
The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking is a new €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. Operating under Horizon 2020, it is driven by the Vision and Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry, aimed at increasing investment in the development of a sustainable bio-based industry sector in Europe. It aims at providing environmental and socio-economic benefits for European citizens, increasing the competitiveness of Europe and contributing to establishing Europe as a key player in research, demonstration and deployment of advanced bio-based products and biofuels. The BBI Joint Undertaking will also play an important role in achieving a bioeconomy in Europe. The objectives of the BBI Joint Undertaking are to contribute to a more resource efficient and sustainable low-carbon economy and to increasing economic growth and employment, in particular in rural areas, by developing sustainable and competitive bio-based industries in Europe, based on advanced biorefineries that source their biomass sustainability.
This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 668953−PROMINENT.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is the largest internationally networked R&D centre for applied research in Northern Europe. VTT develops technology to provide solutions for sustainable development and to create new business opportunities and provide expert services.
For further information, please contact:
Project leader contact
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
Dr. Kaisa Poutanen
Professor, research manager
Tietotie 2, ESPOO, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, Finland
Tel. +358 20 722 5206