From 26 to 28 September the 10th Protein Summit was organized by Bridge2Food in Reims, France. The summit was strongly business oriented, as was reflected by the 350+ participants primarily being from industry. TNO’s Food Allergy team was represented by Kitty Verhoeckx (invited speaker) and Bas Kremer.
The Summit comprised of 5 tracks representing key topics in the field of protein food and nutrition: Protein 2030, Plant-based proteins, High-protein products, Protein Ingredients, and Protein Processing. All topics were derived from the focus on ‘Creating new protein strategies’ for addressing food and nutritional security concerns in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals. The general trend in the protein product sector is to claim ‘right to play’ based on the urgent need of novel environmentally friendly protein sources, accompanied by optimal value-creating use of waste streams, as well as raising nutritional value by increasing protein content in products. Key succes factors for the much needed protein transition as identified by several speakers were increased variety of products (not necessarily meat-replacement), high quality (taste, texture, safety) and education. In her presentation titled ‘Risk assessment of novel and processed proteins in food’ Kitty Verhoeckx described the regulatory context for risk assessment and used the mealworm allergenicity study, a collaboration between TNO and UMC Utrecht, to demonstrate the reality of these risks. She did a great job creating awareness for the importance of assessing food allergy risks as a key success factor in product development and market acceptance.