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.