Alternative protein sources for food and feed
Alternative protein sources for food and feed
Alternative proteins are of increasing interest in terms of their potential to improve food security and reduce the environmental impacts of food and feed production. This study assesses the current state and future prospects of protein production globally and in the EU to 2050, with a focus on conventional and alternative protein sources for food and feed. While projections show increased conventional protein needs up to 2050, climate change necessitates exploring non-linear scenarios and the potential of alternative proteins in the global and EU protein balance. In this context, four sources of alternative proteins – algae, insects, microbial fermentation and cultured meat – are assessed by comparing them to the conventional sources they may replace, in terms of their relative energy needs, environmental impacts, nutritional content, and their potential for being used as substitutes to conventional proteins in food and feed in the EU. The current level of R&D activity, technological and commercial readiness, and industrial capacity of the said alternatives in the EU is also examined. Finally, the study explores regulatory and technical obstacles to and opportunities for development of alternative proteins in Europe, before proposing a set of policy options that may be considered by EU policymakers for targeted support to the growth of the alternative proteins sector.
Publication type:
project report
Publication language:
Publication date:
Publication URL:
European Parliament / Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) (STOA)
Alternative protein sources for food and feed (STOA)