Eco-innovative technologies for extraction of proteins for human consumption from renewable protein sources of plant origin
MetadataShow full item record
Background: The need for renewable and sustainable sources of proteins is growing. Diets containing more plant protein are increasing due to several reasons: the negative environmental impacts of animal protein production, the increasing vegetarianism and veganism trends, and inadequate consumer acceptance of food grade insects. Scope and approach: This paper links the isolation of valuable proteins from sustainable sources – by-products from processing industry of plant origin and eco-innovative technologies which are emerging for this purpose (electrostatic separation, subcritical water extraction, reverse micelles extraction, aqueous two-phase systems extraction, enzyme-, microwave-, ultrasound-, pulsed electric energy- and high pressure-assisted extraction). In this way, not only the key challenges of modern food processing are met-the assurance of cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly production, but also the concept of zero food waste seems more achievable. Key findings and conclusions: A number of different techniques have emerged with high potential to assist protein extraction of preserved techno-functional properties, but they are still in the early stage of its industrial applications. In the EU, its industrial application may be hindered by legislative issues. The respective Novel Food Regulation classifies food obtained in a production process not used for food production before 15 May 1997, as “novel food’’ and the regulatory status for each single case must be sought. On the other hand, the utilization of novel processing technologies is regulatory encouraged in EU due to their potential to reduce the environmental impact of food production, enhance food security and bring benefits to consumers.