Thai Union to participate in EU-funded project developing plant-based seafood, meats, cheese
Thai Union Group will become a major collaborator in a project mostly funded by the European Union to develop new alternative proteins.
The leading seafood producer from Thailand will join with 32 other partners from industry, research, and academia across 21 different countries in the Smart Protein project, which is led by the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences at University College Cork in Ireland, according to a statement from the School released on 2 October.
Smart Protein has a total budget of EUR 9.6 million (USD 10.5 million), EUR 8.2 million (USD 9 million) of which is funded by the European Commission. The project will run for four years, beginning 1 January 2020.
The project’s primary aim is to help build a future-proof protein supply by creating sustainable and nutritious alternative proteins. These include foods made from plants, fungi, by-products and residues, with a strong focus on improving their structure, taste and flavour.
“With the Smart Protein project, we are reconsidering the entire protein value chain from production to consumption in terms of both productive and environmental performance,” said Emanuele Zannini, senior research officer at the University of Cork and the lead coordinator of Smart Protein.
The first wave of products – including plant-based meats, fish, seafood, cheese, infant formula, and other dairy products, as well as baked goods – are expected to go to market in or around 2025, the school said.
Photo courtesy of Thai Union