Application of plant proteins in our diets


* Corresponding author
1. NIZO, Ede, Netherlands
2. HAS University of Applied Science, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands


The protein transition from animal towards plant proteins, is driven by the growth of the world’s population combined with a rising standard of living. Over the last five years, this has already resulted in a 7-fold increase in product launches with a plant-based claim or notification. This manuscript gives an overview of current, emerging and future protein sources and their use to replace protein in dairy and meat products as well as egg proteins.
Currently, a major focus is on the development of products that mimic the original product the most, for example the best meat alternative. However, the question arises if this is enough to change the overall balance between animal and plant proteins? The outlook discusses the demand for a better understanding of consumer needs and preferences.


With the growth of the world’s population (above 9 billion people in 2050), a shift of rural population towards cities, and a rising standard of living, the demand for proteins and protein-rich products will continue to increase in the coming decades. Changes in raw materials and corresponding production technologies are needed to support the transition towards a sustainable supply of protein (1). This transition is nowadays called the “Protein Transition”. This is not only a search for new and alternative protein sources, but also the search for food products that consumers appreciate. It is not surprisingly that the number two trend of 2017 identified by Innova Market Insights (2) is called “Disruptive green“. New product launches with plant-based claims or notifications, such as plant-based alternatives for milk and meat, have gone up almost seven times since 2011. The number one trend is called “Clean supreme”, which is about cleaner formulations, more transparency and using new, mild processing technologies (2). These two complementary processes, feeding the world in the future and expanding consumer trends, put pressure on today’ ...