From harnessing on-farm processes to creating business models, the VALPRO Path project led by Teagasc aims to turn food-chain actors towards sustainable plant protein production. The mission is to pioneer fresh possibilities, validating and showcasing ways to enhance plant protein production for food and feed in the EU. A core part of VALPRO Path are 5 Innovation Production Systems (IPSs) located across the EU, which as ‘living labs’ will generate novel production/processing systems that exploit the highest value potential from protein crops such as pea, lupin, chickpea, faba bean and lentils.

Under the leadership of University of Turin, IPS 5 is developing sustainable cross-regional crop production models in Europe, introducing an ingenious food-grade legume and flour bagging system. Another innovation is set to establish novel value chains across various European regions, with a specific focus on redefining pasta production using optimal lentil, pea and chickpea flour combinations.

“Being a part of the innovative VALPRO Path project allows us to explore new frontiers in pasta production, leveraging sustainable plant protein sources for a healthier and more environmentally conscious future. We’ll test different blends of lentil, pea and chickpea flour combinations using various milling methods, assessing nutritional and functional properties of the pasta made from these types of flour. Extensive consumer evaluations will ensure our pasta meets preferences and stays relevant in the market.”

Remigio Berruto, IPS5 Leader, University of Turin

Antignano Prodotto Tipico is set to conduct pasta production trials using lentil, green pea, and chickpea flours, with support from Aarhus University and UNITO, testing different flour combinations. Progress is being made in achieving an optimal legume and durum wheat blend for long pasta, targeting a protein percentage of around 20%, similar to egg pasta. Upcoming activities include trials for short pasta, along with assessments for digestibility, oxidation, shelf-life, and consumer preferences. Ongoing discussions revolve around experimenting with gluten-free and low glycemic index pasta formulations, catering to individuals with diabetes and gluten intolerance.

The VALPRO Path project is co- funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme and all the information is available on project’s website, as well as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Youtube.

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