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Whitepaper on Protein Diversification

Protein diversification can play an important role in enhancing the resilience of food systems, contributing to meeting the needs of a growing population and addressing the environmental and climate impacts of food production and consumption. COP27 saw a focus shifting away from agriculture towards food systems and the opportunities they provide for climate mitigation, and the topic of protein diversification as part of this discussed in multiple fora.

16 Dec 2022

Potential, needs and opportunities

Our food system is in crisis, and it is a leading cause of some of the biggest challenges the world is currently facing, from climate change, resource depletion and waste, to malnutrition, disease and obesity. Our global population is also growing and the UN estimates it to reach nearly 10 billion people by 2050. We urgently need to produce more nutritious food for our growing global population, however this is not just a question of producing more food for more people - the food we provide needs to be healthy, equitable and sustainable.

Protein diversification can play an important role in enhancing the resilience of food systems, contributing to meeting the needs of a growing population and addressing the environmental and climate impacts of food production and consumption. COP27 saw a focus shifting away from agriculture towards food systems and the opportunities they provide for climate mitigation, and the topic of protein diversification as part of this discussed in multiple fora. With nations such as Singapore and Israel championing cultivated meat as a viable alternative protein and climate solution at COP, and the Food and Drug Administration of the USA approving the sale of meat products grown in labs in November 2022, there is increasing interest in gaining regulatory approval of cultivated foods worldwide.

In this white paper published by EIT Food, we provide policymakers and agrifood stakeholders with an outlook on the current state of technological developments, the business and societal potential of protein diversification, and identify the needs and opportunities in research and innovation to further accelerate innovation in this growing strategic sector. For the potential of protein diversification to be fully realised, a long-term vision and systems approach is needed at EU level, fostering stakeholder dialogue to overcome knowledge fragmentation, and ensuring there are opportunities of sustainable growth for every actor in the supply chain.

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