Unlocking Protein Resource Opportunities To Evolve Ireland’s Nutrition
Project website: u-protein.ie/
- U-Protein (Unlocking Protein Resource Opportunities To Evolve Ireland’s Nutrition) is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between Teagasc, University College Cork, NUI Maynooth, NUI Galway, University of Limerick and Queens University Belfast, as well as ten industry partners. The project commenced in November 2020 and received funding of almost €3 million from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
- Protein is the most important macronutrient for growth, it provides the essential amino acids that are required by the body to maintain bone, muscle and tissue, and for the production of vital components such as hormones, enzymes and immunoglobulins. However, unlike carbohydrate and fat which can be stored within the body, protein can be obtained only through the diet.
- Much of our current dietary protein is dairy or meat-derived. To support the agriculture and food sector within Ireland, U-protein aims to explore sustainable crop and marine-based protein alternatives. These resources have the potential to provide quality nutrition to the consumer while also developing an alternative, economically-viable and sustainable agricultural enterprise.
- Research on U-Protein spans the entire production process, from the identification and characterisation of proteins from crops and the marine, to the processing of these proteins, clinical studies and finally incorporation into a consumer product. In support of the circular bioeconomy, the residual biomass from these protein sources will be assessed for bioactive components or valorised to novel or renewable products through microbial biotransformation.
U-Protein: Collecting a Mixed Sward
U-Protein researchers Deirdre Hennessey, Laura Gomez Mascaraque and Sara Perez Vila collecting a mixed sward at Moorepark.
Dr Mark Fenelon, Project Lead: email@example.com