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 is the implementation of 5 Innovation Production Systems (IPSs) located across the EU, which as ‘living labs’ will generate data on 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.

Which variety to grow? When? How? – IPS 2 is coordinated by Aarhus University and will, on one hand, evaluate climate challenges using climate-controlled experiments, and on the other, carry out broad field testing to understand composition changes in each region, and climate resilience, (i.e. drought, heat stress). VALPRO Path partners will support the regional evaluation and demonstration of strategies designed to mitigate against vulnerabilities in current plant protein systems and to identify up to 3 best- performing crop varieties with great potential per region.

“We have initiated field trials across five pedo-climatic regions (Denmark, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Portugal) to assess various protein-rich grain legume varieties. Our goal is to investigate their susceptibility to environmental factors, analyse their composition for quality, measure yields, and evaluate key agronomic parameters.”

Milena Corredig, Aarhus University

The existing data from national variety trials for major grain legumes on yield and crude protein will be complemented with data on minor legume species, and combined with new data on food quality composition, yields and agronomic parameters (tolerance to pests and diseases, and competition with weeds). The evaluation will be focused on circularity, protein concentrations, compositions, anti-nutritional, and crop-specific cost-benefit analyses. A database of varietal robustness for future proofing will be created.

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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