Alternative proteins: EU-funded projects team up to develop sustainable food products

The four EU-funded projects working on alternative proteins, NextGenProteinsProFuture, Smart Protein and SUSINCHAIN, launched Horizon4Proteins at the end of 2021 to work together in key aspects such as: Consumer acceptance of alternative proteinsSafety and Regulatory challengesFood applications, and Sustainability. Beginning of 2023, the EU Horizon Europe funded projects projects GIANT LEAPS, LIKE-A-PRO and VALPRO Path joined the collaboration.

Given the reality of climate change and natural-resource scarcity, it will become increasingly challenging to ensure sufficient, nutritious, safe and affordable food to a fast-growing world population with changing dietary habits. In this respect, protein supply is critical – the integration of a variety of new or alternative protein sources of both terrestrial and aquatic origin into new and/or existing processes or products needs to be explored in order to develop and ensure a more sustainable and resilient food supply. High levels of consumer and investor acceptance will also be needed and will be encouraged by a clean-labelling approach and attractive market opportunities respectively.


Sharing this goal, the four EU-H2020-funded projects have launched Horizon4Proteins, a partnership that kicked off with a webinar series exploring key aspects of alternative proteins such as consumer acceptance, safety and regulatory challenges, food applications, and sustainability. Horizon4Proteins invites researchers, farmers, producers, policymakers, and all those with an interest in sustainable food systems to join the conversation and contribute to the future of our food systems.

Horizon4Proteins Policy Brief

In this policy brief, a number of the Horizon4Proteins projects NextGenProteins, Smart Protein, ProFuture, SUSINCHAIN and LIKE-A-PROoutline five actions that should be implemented to ensure meaningful development of the EU alternative proteins sector in this regard.

Download the policy brief for free.

Upcoming webinars

Please find below details on a number of upcoming conferences and webinars that may be of interest.
EFFoST 2023 (6 – 8 November)
Currently open for registration and abstract submission. A special session on Alternative Proteins is again being planned for this year.

Past webinars

Horizon4Proteins Webinar | Sustainability of alternative proteins | 22 September 2022

This webinar discussed the sustainability of alternative proteins.

Watch the recording.

Horizon4Proteins Webinar | Novel Proteins – Food of the Future | 28 April 2022

In this webinar, the Horizon4Proteins projects discussed novel proteins and their application in future foods . Participants learned about the latest research into novel proteins, products, and ingredients. Speakers showcased innovative microalgae-enriched foods and spoke about the related challenges and opportunities. They also highlighted advances in the development of new food products using single cell, microalgae, and insect protein.

Horizon4Proteins Webinar | European consumers’ views on foods made of alternative proteins | 3 February 2022

In this highly informative webinar, Horizon4Proteins explored European consumers’ views on alternative proteins made with novel ingredients such as microalgae, insects, plant-based, and single-cell proteins. Jaakko Paasi, Principal Scientist in Foresight-driven Business Strategies at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, and Armando Perez-Cueto, Associate Professor at the Design and Consumer Behaviour Department of the University of Copenhagen, provided deep insights on consumer acceptance.

Watch the recording.

Horizon4Proteins Webinar | Safety & regulatory approval of novel protein sources | 13 December 2021

In this webinar, Birgir Örn Smárason, Prof. Sveinn Agnarsson, and Prof. Ine van der Fels-Klerx discuss the regulatory challenges facing alternative-protein producers, as well as the chemical safety of insect proteins.

Watch the recording.