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Teagasc's ‘Plant-Based Protein: Yes, You Can!’ video series during Bioeconomy Ireland Week

Teagasc's ‘Plant-Based Protein: Yes, You Can!’ video series during Bioeconomy Ireland Week

As part of Bioeconomy Ireland Week, Teagasc has taken the lead in producing a series of enlightening videos aimed at dispelling myths surrounding the development of plant-based proteins.

These videos also shed light on the various aspects that must be considered when establishing new value chains based on existing or novel crops. The series, aptly titled ‘Plant-based Protein: Yes, You Can!’ consists of four informative videos. Watch these videos below.

Video 1: An Irish farmer’s experience

The voice of Irish tillage farmer Charles Smyth takes the spotlight as he discusses the benefits of growing beans, emphasising financial gains, improved soil health, and a more balanced workload. Teagasc Advisor Phelim McDonald underscores beans' potential as the projected third most profitable crop in 2023, with a gross margin of €340 per acre.

click here to view 'An Irish farmer’s experience' video

Video 2: Putting research into practice

Teagasc researcher Dr Sheila Alves highlights the significance of sound management practices and selecting the right crop for each field. She suggests that, particularly in dry, hot seasons, peas and lupins might be better choices for sandy soils than beans. Dr Richard Lynch, project manager of the ValProPath project says that there’s a lot of work being done to support farmers in Ireland and across Europe to grow more high protein crops, and that farmers are engaging with this work.

click here to view 'Putting research into practice' video

Video 3: Unlocking value and exploring potential

The third video showcases Teagasc's extensive capabilities at their Food Research Centres in Ashtown and Moorepark. Teagasc researcher Barbara Biduski explores the visual and sensory aspects of dough production, ensuring both processing suitability and consumer satisfaction.

Shay Hannon, Manager of the National Prepared Consumer Foods Centre in Teagasc Ashtown, discusses their support for Irish food businesses in the development of plant-based foods. University College Dublin's Professor Lorraine Brennan talks about the Protein-I project's role in diversifying protein intake, and promoting a more sustainable diet.

Dr Sinead Fitzsimons, U-Protein project manager at Teagasc, concludes: “The bottom line is that technical issues can be overcome and companies should contact Teagasc to develop exciting new plant-based products for consumers.”

 click here to view 'Unlocking value and exploring potential' video

Video 4: Market and consumer perspectives

Head of Teagasc Crops Research, Dr Ewen Mullins says: “We are acutely aware that it is not enough to grow the crop and expect a good return, there needs to be increased demand for these crops.” G

race Binchy of Bord Bia expresses optimism about the market, signalling a growing presence of plant protein in various products. She indicates that Bord Bia offers a range of support services to companies to help them get the fundamentals right in terms of taking a market-led approach to product development.

click here to view 'Market and consumer perspectives' video

Dr Aoife O’Gorman, Project Manager of Protein-I at University College Dublin, shares insights into research focusing on nutritionally vulnerable groups, such as the elderly.

Professor Maeve Henchion of Teagasc concludes the series, calling on farmers, food producers, and industry stakeholders to collaborate with Teagasc and partners in ValProPath, U-Protein, and Protein-I to build new plant-based value chains.

For more information, please contact Professor Maeve Henchion by email: maeve.henchion@teagasc.ie