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The World needs protein


Roquette Frères, Rue Haute Loge, 62080 Lestrem Cedex, France


This review assesses the situation regarding the feeding of the planet in 2050. The current consumption trends are analyzed and the challenges described .It is shown that if the current trends continue, our agriculture will not be able to produce enough grains and seeds to feed all the humans and the animals that would have to be reared to meet their needs. The author demonstrates that the most efficient way of coping with this challenge would be to stimulate the consumption of new plant-based, rich- in- protein foods by humans and limit the growth of their animal product consumption. This will be attained through a joint, comprehensive and international innovation programme that would cover protein science, applications and marketing.

In 2050 the planet’s population will reach 9 to 10 billion people (FAO) (1). It is generally estimated that grain production will be sufficient to bring enough energy (kilocalories) to this number of people through carbohydrate and vegetable fat sources (2). Nevertheless, the situation is totally different when it comes to protein. Several issues are highlighted when the balance between supply and demand is studied.
The protein produced by farming on our planet could easily meet our population needs (50 to 60 g per day/capita), but things are not quite as simple as that. First of all we consume an average of 80g/day and there is a huge gap between developing countries (for example India, 56g/day) and Western ones (f