The 2020 Plant Protein Science and Technology Forum was held online in October 2020. Live presentations combined with interactive question and answer sessions gave participants access to the latest information on the analysis, nutrition and applications of plant proteins.
The Forum was dedicated to covering the entire spectrum of plant protein nutrition from livestock to pets to humans. It sought to investigate the plant protein industry’s many facets, including quality determination and the sensory science of plant proteins.
Each session focused on a key topic affecting the science and technology of plant proteins.
Processing and Utilization Technologies
In this session processing and utilization technologies of plant-based proteins and their relationships in plant-based food systems were discussed. Presentations included protein-starch interactions in the development of structure and functionality of plant-based products, development strategies for plant-based meat alternatives, almond, canola and oats as alternative protein sources and enzyme solutions for plant-based food and beverage production.
Human Experiences with Plant Proteins: Nutrition & Health Benefits, Sensory Attributes and Personal Care
This Session explored how emerging technologies and analytical methods for plant proteins and the products in which they are used affect how people "experience" plant proteins. Topics explored new methods for determining the nutritional quality of proteins and their implications for nutrition labelling and influencing consumer perception of products in which protein content and quality are characterizing attributes. In addition, the utilization of comprehensive, quantitative sensory science methods to develop protein ingredients and the foods and other products that contain them were presented. Finally, the opportunities and issues for using plant proteins, hydrolyzates and peptides in cosmetic and personal care applications were discussed and brought a holistic view to how protein ingredients can enhance the human experience.
Emerging Technologies for Plant Protein Quality-Based Supply Chains – US Soy
Accurate, affordable and rapid Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) analysis of protein-rich crops like soybeans has been used commercially for 25 years but they often fail to accurately predict the value in use of protein ingredients like soybean meal for the major production livestock markets that soybean serve. Efforts to enhance NIR systems for predicting protein quality are now underway in the United States soybean industry and are increasingly being used to distinguish and differentiate quality and value in use. This session highlighted the emerging analytical technologies that are enabling new U.S. soybean supply chains that are based on more robust predictive technologies for protein quality. In addition, economic considerations using protein quality for identifying and mitigating value at risk in these emerging supply chains were presented as a viable model for future commercialization of soy protein ingredients in domestic and global markets.
Emerging Technologies for Plant Protein Quality-Based Supply Chains – Global Crops
Building on Tuesday’s discussion on the U.S. soy industry, this session presented assessment technologies currently in place as well as emerging technologies that are demonstrating a marked impact on protein quality improvement in a variety of crops grown globally. Crops that were addressed include pea, lentil, canola, fava bean and lupin and technologies span from the applications in crop production to the human digestive system.
Relationship between Canine Diets & Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) – Pet Food Health & Nutrition
DCM has become a polarizing issue in the pet food industry since the FDA first announced a possible link between certain pet food diets and DCM in July 2018. Additional research since the first FDA report has included research which showed that dietary-associated DCM may occur with some grain-free diets, but that the cause is likely multifactorial, resulting from a combination of dietary, metabolic, and genetic factors. A cause-and-effect relationship between DCM and grain-free diets has not been proven to date, however, there is much concern and debate among pet food formulators, veterinarians, and pet owners. This session informed AOCS and meeting attendees on the latest developments in this research area and stimulate ideas for any needed further research.
Our growing global population requires affordable proteins that promote the wellbeing of both people and the planet. This requires building a sustainable value chain from farms to consumers. Join us to participate and learn how science and technological advances can help solve the challenges as we look at the future of plant proteins. The session on plant proteins and sustainability highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts between research, industry and government agencies to apply effective technological solutions, that include sustainable agricultural practices, crop biotechnology, processing solutions, food quality, and traceability.