The “Engineering of oat proteins: Consumer driven sustainable food development process”
(OATPRO project) comes to an end (2015-2018)
May 30, 2018
Issued by the European Project SUSFOOD ERA-NET “OATPRO”
The ERANET SUSFOOD OATPRO Project has successfully hosted the final project meeting and International Workshop on February 27-28, 2018 in Bucharest, Romania bringing together 41 representatives from: research, university, industry, authorities, NGOs.
The project’s final events served as an effective platform to disseminate the main outputs from 3 years of research focused on valorisation of oat processing side stream as plant protein ingredient and development of food applications taking into account consumers’ preferences. There is a global need to increase plant protein consumption. Availability of sustainable plant protein ingredients could be increased by finding novel sources of protein or by efficient valorisation of the existing ones. Cereal processing side streams are underutilized despite their high content of health promoting valuable
components such as dietary fibre, protein and bioactive compounds.

During the last three years of research and development, the working groups have
developed:
– a strategy for promotion the plant-protein enriched products on point-of-sales
– food applications of oat protein as gelling agent, in foams and emulsions
– various food models such as protein gels, yoghurt, ice-cream and pasta
– understanding on the environmental impacts of valorizing cereal side streams
based on Lice Cycle Assessment.
Due to the interest in the topic and project results, Food Network Denmark, Vifu-The Danish Knowledge Centre for Food Innovation and Aarhus University-MAPP Centre have organised a seminar on April 25, 2018 in Aarhus University, Denmark to explore opportunities of plant-based protein-enriched products from consumer and company perspective and to allow the dissemination of the OATPRO results to industry
(https://www.vifu.net/international/events-in-vifu/plant-based-enriched-products/).

1

In conclusion:
Key drivers of plant-protein enriched product acceptance are:
o familiarity – closeness to the conventional products used in everyday diet,
o naturalness – positive perception of plant protein naturalness and how this protein
has been added to the product,
o plant protein-product carrier type compatibility, and finally
o information about enrichment with associations to overall health and wellness
together with positive product experience.
•        Launch strategy of the plant-protein enriched products should be with focus on
point-of-sale promotions and the distribution of free product samples
•       Oat protein can be used as gelling agent, in foams and emulsions
•       Oat protein is surface-active but low solubility under acidic conditions restricts
functional properties
•       Several modifications (enzymatic, microbial and mechanical) can be used to
improve the functionality
•       Replacing animal-based products with plant-products rich in oat protein reduces
environmental impacts. At the diet level carbon footprint can be reduced nearly by
one fifth.
•       Even though, environmental impacts are only reduced if novel oat protein rich
products really replace animal products, and are not just consumed instead of conventional
plant products.
The partners are: VTT- Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd – Coordinator,
Aarhus University Denmark, Technische Universität Berlin – Germany, National
Institute of Research & Development for Food Bioresources IBA Bucharest Romania
and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
INFORMATION
Website: www.oatpro.eu
Coordinator: Kaisa Poutanen, e-mail: kaisa.poutanen@vtt.fi
Kaisa Poutanen, e-mail: kaisa.poutanen@vtt.fi

September 10, 2015
Issued by the European Project SUSFOOD ERA-NET “OATPRO”

There is a global need to increase plant protein consumption. Availability of sustainable plant protein ingredients could be increased by finding novel sources of protein or by efficient valorisation of the existing ones. Cereal processing side streams are underutilized despite their high content of health promoting valuable components such as dietary fibre, protein and bioactive compounds.

Five scientific partners are participating in a new ambitious research project named OATPRO (“Engineering of oat proteins: Consumer driven sustainable food development process“) which aims to further valorize an oat processing side stream as plant protein ingredient and develop food applications taking into account consumer preferences. Technological properties of oat protein ingredients and applicability will be tailored towards high sensory functionality.

The team, co-ordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd will work to:

  • Characterize the functionality of oat protein concentrates with different degrees of purity in relation to their applicability in different model food categories;
  • Analyze consumer preferences in order to identify the most promising product categories for high oat protein products and study consumer acceptance of the developed prototypes;
  • Develop high protein food prototypes with good texture and flavor;
  • Demonstrate scientifically the environmental benefits associated with the production of protein enriched foods and their adaptation in the human diet through life cycle analysis;
  • Outcomes of this day bring clarifications on monitoring of ongoing activities, specific partner duties and planning of the further tasks of the partnership.

The partners are: VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd – coordinator, Aarhus University – MAPP Centre – Denmark, Technische Universität Berlin – Germany, National Institute of Research & Development for Food Bioresources – IBA Bucharest – Romania, and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

The project will run for three years (2015 – 2018).

“OATPRO” kick-off meeting took place in Espoo, Finland, on 18 – 19th March 2015 at VTT, bringing together 14 representatives of the partner organizations. Besides discussions on each workpackage and associated tasks, a Consortium Agreement has been signed and various administrative issues were set. Participants also had an opportunity to visit VTT facilities including a pilot tour.