European consumers are increasingly interested in food made from alternative protein sources as a possible substitute for animal-based food. Consumer growing pull for these products is the perfect ground for the European diets to become more sustainable and healthier - that is, carbon neutral, environmentally friendly, compliant with national dietary recommendation, safe and equitable - in line with the European Green Deal and Farm-to-Fork Strategy.
The goal of the Like-A-Pro project is, on the one hand, to produce new food products from alternative protein sources and, on the other hand, to understand the needs of consumers and how to meet them with the new products. Different, sustainable protein resources are used for the production of new food products, including rapeseed protein, mealworm protein, krill protein, microbial protein, mushroom-based protein, fermented mushroom protein or pea protein. The challenge is to produce novel, healthy and nutritious food from environmentally friendly sources - for people of all ages and regardless of whether they live in cities or in rural areas.
With the help of studies and surveys, the project consortium wants to get to know the eating habits of Europeans better in order to adapt the products to consumer preferences. Furthermore, the products are tested in canteens, supermarkets, restaurants and at home to see which consumers choose the new products and why (or why not). In the end, 16 new food products will be made from various alternative proteins and a market analysis will be carried out for each product in order to trigger the introduction of these products into the market.
The task of the CBP in the Like-A-Pro project is to dehull rapeseed from local producers and then separate the rapeseed oil from the rapeseed kernels. The new EthaNa process is used here, which, with the help of ethanol, separates the oil from the rapeseed and extracts bitter substances from the kernel concentrate. The EthaNa process uses mild process conditions, avoiding protein denaturation which is currently still a major problem in conventional processes. At the same time, the kernel concentrate is separated from the rapeseed oil and other bitter substances, so that no further processes are required to purify the proteins. As a result, a kernel concentrate is produced at the CBP using the EthaNa process, which has a high protein content that can be used by the project partners for food production.