From harnessing on-farm processes to creating business models, 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 optimum for specific regions that exploit the highest value potential from protein crops such as pea, lupin, chickpea, faba bean and lentils.

Besides being the coordinator of the project, TEAGASC also leads IPS3 and IPS4. IPS3 is dedicated to showcasing the incredible potential of intercropping field peas with faba beans as a solution to mitigate yield losses from lodging, while also yielding peas and faba beans for protein extraction and flour milling. TEAGASC, in collaboration with European breeders, will establish the best varieties of pea and faba beans that will be evaluated, considering the characteristics of commercial and pre-commercial varieties in terms of agronomic traits and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

“On the other hand, IPS4 adopts a system engineering approach to monitor nutrient tracking and environmental impacts throughout the product development and innovation process within the supply chain. Emission and nutrient profiles will be documented and quantified for various selected varieties and plant protein products to support informed consumer choices based on environmental and nutrient data. ”

Mark Fenelon, TEAGASC

These initiatives demonstrate TEAGASC’s commitment to enhancing agricultural practices, reducing environmental impact, and fostering innovation within the food industry. Together, IPS3 and IPS4 exemplify the potential for collaboration and holistic thinking to drive positive change in agriculture and the broader food supply chain. Their combined efforts hold great promise in addressing the complex challenges that our world faces in the realm of sustainable and responsible food production.

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

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