Nutritech - Rethinking the Food Chain

NEW PROJECT: OatPro-Engineering of oat proteins: Consumer driven sustainable food development process

24.2.2015 8:16


Side streams from cereal processing are under-exploited or even wasted despite their high content of health promoting valuable components such as dietary fibre, protein and bioactive compounds. Oats are an important crop with a superior amino acid composition as compared to other cereal proteins. In production of oat bran ingredients rich in β-glucan, a protein enriched fraction can also be recovered, but its use in food applications has been very little studied. Turning promising technology into successful oat-protein food applications is dependent on integrating the consumer view into the product development process from the beginning till the end.

Development of new plant protein enriched foods requests for understanding of consumers’ willingness to accept such products. Consumer acceptance of any food product is a complex phenomenon, and can be expected to be even more complex in the case of highly new product concepts. The sensory aspect is especially important, as protein ingredients often have disadvantageous off-flavours, bitter or astringent taste.

The aim of the OatPro project is to use oat protein as an ingredient in protein-enriched cereal foods or for replacement of animal based proteins, and develop food applications where oat protein would best be accepted by consumers. Re-thinking the current food ingredient processing chain and efficient valorisation of oat as a protein ingredient will assist in increasing protein self-sufficiency in Europe, and benefit environment by providing alternatives for animal based protein ingredients.

OatPro project is coordinated by VTT and funded under ERA-NET SUSFOOD with an overall budget of 1 M€. Project partners are Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) (Finland), Technical University Berlin (Germany), Aarhus University (Denmark) and National Institute of Research&Development for Food Bioresources IBA Bucharest (Romania).

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