Dennis Sandris Nielsen, Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen
PROFERMENT: Solid-state fermentations for protein transformations and palatability of plant-based foods
A transition to a more plant-based diet is vital to feed the increasing world population while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and may also lead to better health.
Replacing meat is, however, challenging as it contains high amounts of accessible quality protein, important micronutrients, and sensory attributes considered attractive by most consumers.
Several meat substitutes are on the market but often characterized by being highly processed and with added emulsifiers and flavours. Traditional products exist, however, where microorganisms transform local plant material into foods with meat-like characteristics. The cross-disciplinary centre will explore this huge potential by clarifying fundamental mechanisms of fungal and Bacillus-driven transformations of plant materials. The goal is to increase plant protein bio-accessibility and quality, flavour formation and texture, thereby enabling a rational design of clean-label, nutritious, and palatable alternatives for meat consumption.
Dennis Sandris Nielsen is receiving a grant of DKK 56.3 million for the project.