Products based on protein-rich crops: needs and opportunities

Last changed: 28 September 2021
Protein crops
Project - Products based on protein-rich crops: needs and opportunities. Photo Helena Persson Hovmalm.

The project in brief

Sustainability and health are strong driving forces in today’s consumers. Many vegetable products on the Swedish market are produced abroad, and transports represent a large part of the carbon footprint. Our vision is a sustainable Swedish production of protein products for the food and feed markets. The first step in achieving this goal is to conduct an analysis of the needs that exist with producers, processors and end consumers, as well as a strategy for selecting the raw materials and products that have the greatest potential to contribute to reinforced competitiveness within Swedish agricultural production. As the structure of the raw material impacts on which product can be developed, we need to define which crops contain interesting proteins and whether there is a need for plant breeding in order to develop these products.

This project aims to investigate the demand for plant-based products that are rich in protein, along with the qualities that are considered important. The project also aims to identify which crops have the potential for product development and commercialisation, and whether there is a breeding need for development of the products that are in demand. It is also interesting to consider whether the whole plant is useful or whether a specific part/fraction is suitable for a specific product development. In cases where the results indicate that a certain fraction is of interest, we can utilise the plant protein factory that is being constructed at SLU Alnarp for further analysis.

Comments from relevant actors within the food industry (producers, industries, wholesalers, traders, consultancies and trade organisations) will be collected through interviews. Consumer demand will be examined through an online survey study and through interviews. A long-term sustainable and competitive production also requires access to suitable plant material throughout the country. The project therefore comprises a needs analysis relating to plant breeding for protein-rich crops based on what is being done, nationally as well as in the other Nordic countries, what can be done and what is in demand through all sections of the value chain. Since information from all the Nordic countries is compiled, the project is expected to enable a resource-efficient use of competence, research and development found in areas with similar cultivation conditions.

Facts:

Project period: 2019-2021

Project coordinator: Helena Persson Hovmalm, SLU i Alnarp

Participating organisations: SLU, RISE, Axfoundation, Kalmar Öland Trädgårdsprodukter, Lantmännen and Lyckeby Starch AB

 

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