13 February 2015

Healthy and affordable protein rich foods for African markets

The project introduces new business areas for the dairy industry, and adds value to the plant production that has previously been used mainly for feed.

The aim of HAPFAM is to enable development of sustainable, healthy and affordable foods based on a combination of proteins from milk and plants.

We hypothesise that partly replacing milk protein with plant protein gives a cheaper, equally healthy product with which the growth rate can be maintained.

Despite economic growth, 22% of African children under 5 years – approximately 31 million children – are underweight and 40% have stunted growth, which has severe consequences for later health and development. This clearly illustrates the strong need to introduce foods that reduce the risk of malnutrition.

Collaboration between the Danish food industry and academia will provide a new strategy for producing affordable foods that fulfil the nutritional requirements of an African population and contribute to catching up the growth of children. Results will further contribute to closing the global protein gap and create business opportunities in other emerging markets.

Innovative value and relevance

In the present project, anti-nutritional compounds related to the use of rapeseed protein will be removed using new separation technologies, making rapeseed isolate a promising protein source for novel foods.

The functionality of protein fractions and mixtures is studied in order to gain knowledge about complex food systems and to develop new prototypes of blended foods in collaboration with the industry. The growth-stimulating potential of these protein blends is then tested in animal studies and human intervention studies conducted in Ghana and Denmark, respectively.

A sustainable production

Use of plant protein compared to ruminant protein is expected to reduce emission of CO2 equivalents by up to 85%. Furthermore, extraction of plant protein is part of a zero-waste water-based extraction method where all main components are used for food or feed and the overall process secures value generation through the production chain.

A new business model

HAPFAM embraces companies from the whole value chain, from raw material production to processing and retail. A future perspective is that protein rich plants are grown and processed locally in Africa. The project introduces new business areas for the dairy industry, and adds value to the plant production that has previously been used mainly for feed.

Original title: Healthy and affordable protein rich foods for African markets - HAPFAM 

Start date: January 2014

End date: December 2018

Grant donor: The Danish Council for Strategic Research

FOOD grant: 9,094,000 DKK

Total budget: 19,982,000 DKK