Session : Future Food Proteins

Session Overview

More than ever, food proteins are at the heart of tomorrow’s food debate in connection with population growth and rapid climate change. Currently, plants, edible insects, algae, and cellular agriculture are mainly targeted due to their potential as innovative, nutritious, sustainable and health-promoting protein sources for the food industry and consumers. Thus, this session is intended to be an open discussion on the latest advancements, opportunities and challenges in the development and adoption of alternative proteins.

Room 206

Chair : Lamia L’Hocine – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Co-Chairs : Lucie Beaulieu, Guillaume Brisson and Alain Doyen – Université Laval
Sponsor : Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ)

9:00 AM - 9:40 AM


Emerging Technologies for the Discovery and Commercialization of Sustainable Food Proteins

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Continued global population growth, coupled with the rise in the standard of living coming from economic development is profoundly affecting the global economy’s ability to supply foods for healthy diets and to do it in a significantly more sustainable way. Lifestyle driven changes in health and wellness risk factors are commonly diet related and are also straining the resources needed to support healthy living on a global basis. Fundamentally new dietary patterns and the systems needed to enable them are needed now more than at any time in the planet’s history.

The production of protein ingredients needed to support animal agriculture and the human foods made from it is especially resource intensive. This protein production is now clearly having negative impacts on the planet’s soil, water, and atmospheric quality and thus on the planet’s ability to sustainably nourish the planet’s population. Fortunately, a number of emerging technologies that can be deployed in an integrated fashion across global supply chains are showing the potential for addressing these sustainability risk factors so that threats to the overall planet’s health can be proactively mitigated.

This presentation will highlight a number of examples from production agriculture to terrestrial and aquatic livestock production to human food production that are showing the potential for mitigation of these risks to sustainable human nourishment and overall planetary health.

9:40 AM - 10:05 AM


Nutritional Quality of Plant-Based Proteins: Exploring Influencing Factors from Farm to Table

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Global dietary guidelines are advocating a shift in protein consumption towards a pattern that is more plant-forwardPlant-based proteins in the diet consist of whole sources (e.g. pulses, nuts, seeds) and their respective flours, concentrates and isolates, used primarily in processed foodsWhen considering the nutritional quality of plant-based proteins, key criteria include their overall nutrient density, particularly for nutrients of concern in the population, and the quality of the proteinThe latter is generally defined as the product of the amino acid composition of the protein, relative to human amino acid needs, and the overall protein/amino acid digestibility or availabilityKey factors affecting the nutritional quality of plant-based proteins include plant genetics, agronomic and environmental conditions during plant growth, and the degree and type of post-harvest processing involvedThe presentation will provide an overview of the impact of these factors with specific reference to measures of protein quality.

10:05 AM - 10:30 AM


Algae and Edible-Insect Proteins: Challenges and Opportunities for the Biofood Industry

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The rapid population growth combined with the major adverse effects of climate change on global food production is generating increased pressure for research and the development of alternative and sustainable protein sources with high nutritional value to mitigate food insecurity challenges. Among these protein sources, algae and insects are promising due to their nutritional value, notably their high protein content, and low environmental footprint during their production. However, the utilization of these emerging matrices presents various challenges for the biofood sector, particularly in terms of technical, economic, and social acceptability. Hence, this conference will start with general information about the market, composition, and nutritional value of algae and insect products, and subsequently focus on the challenges related to the production of protein-rich ingredients. Finally, consumer acceptability issues and strategies to address them will be presented.

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

30-Minute Break

11:00 AM - 11:25 AM


Sustainable Protein: Building on Food, Agriculture and Biotech Foundations at UC Davis

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The UC Davis Cultivated Meat Consortium was established in 2019 and builds on strong research and training foundations in food science, agriculture and biotechnology. We form a vibrant, interdisciplinary research community with over 50 researchers working on platform technologies and research approaches to enable the development of alternative meats and proteins, including media and cell line development, biomaterials and processes for edible 3-D structures, sensory characteristics, technoeconomic analyses and life cycle analyses. In parallel, we have been working closely with industry partners to understand the workforce needs of this emerging technology sector, building on UC Davis Biotech Program best practices for graduate education and professional development. My presentation will highlight key research and training outcomes, to date, and future plans for the UC Davis Cultivated Meat Consortium.

11:25 AM - 12:00 PM


Challenges in the Adoption of Alternative Proteins: How to Ensure an Effective Transition for the Food Sector?

Moderator : Lamia L’Hocine

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The panel will discuss the social acceptability of alternative proteins, their accessibility, and potential for widespread use, along with the industry’s challenges and efforts to address them. These challenges include ensuring quality, safety, managing allergenicity, achieving reproducibility, promoting sustainability, and navigating regulatory considerations.


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