Research approaches for future protein supply
“Future protein supply – opportunities for more sustainability and resource efficiency in food production” – a topic of high relevance, which was the focus of the 17th Cooperation Forum hosted by the Research Association of the German Food Industry (FEI). Nearly 200 industry representatives and scientists came to Bonn and discussed opportunities and new research approaches for future protein supply.
“We urgently need alternative sources of protein”
Resources are becoming increasingly scarcer. At the same time, major social challenges such as climate change and population growth and related food security are on the agenda. In 2011, 7 billion people lived on earth. By 2050, according to forecasts, it will be already 9,8 billion people who need to be provided with food. The consumption of meat is more and more increasing but will reach its limits due to its serious environmental impact. Therefore, sustainable provision of high-quality protein is of great importance. “For the future coverage of global protein, we urgently need alternative sources of protein and marketable products with high customer acceptance”, remarked Prof. Dr. Stefan Töpfl from the German Institute of Food Technology (DIL) who moderated the event. But what are the alternatives?
Impulses for new Collective Research projects
Nine top-class speakers presented the current state of research and presented first results from projects of the Industrial Collective Research (IGF), in which proteins from microalgae, insects and mushrooms were examined and applied successfully. Also protein recovery from biotechnological processes and corresponding technologies were discussed. ”This topic area offers various approaches for crossindustrial and pre-competitive research and is therefore predestined for Industrial Collective Research”, emphasised FEI Managing Director Dr. Volker Häusser. “We are delighted that many impulses were given for new IGF projects.”
CORNET was on site with a booth spreading the word about the possibility of joining forces internationally and starting a bi- or multilateral Collective Research project presenting a selection of “Success Stories” such as “iAlgaePro”. This German-Flemish CORNET project, which was recently running and coordinated by the FEI, focused on innovative and maximally efficient processing of microalgae offering great potential in being a sustainable “allrounder” in the food and feed industry.
Guarana-algae cookie wins TROPHELIA competition
At the end of the conference, the winner of the innovation competition “TROPHELIA Deutschland 2018“ were awarded. In pitching sessions that took place throughout the day, students from universities all over Germany have had presented their innovative ideas in food sciences with ecological added value. Winner of the day was the project “kof.co“ – an innovative breakfast cookie, which combines invigorating caffeine in the form of guarana and nutrient-rich algae, replacing not only a wholesome breakfast but also making you awake and active. The competition which was organised by the FEI for the ninth time is the national preliminary round of “ECOTROPHELIA Europe”. The winner team from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will represent Germany in the European ECOTROPHELIA competition in Paris on 21/22 October 2018.
Impressions of the event:
Pictures: © Research Association of the German Food Industry/Forschungskreis der Ernährungsindustrie e.V. (FEI)