Towards a sustainable food system by design using faba bean protein as an example

Elsevier, Trends in Food Science and Technology, Volume 125, July 2022
Augustin M.A., Cole M.B.

Background: A radical transformation of the world food system is needed to meet the UN sustainable development goals and ensure food security, whilst maintaining the health of the people and the planet. There is an urgent need to accelerate innovation for more sustainable and healthy food systems. Scope: This paper discusses the area of future protein demand and the need for a re-balance towards more sustainable plant-based proteins. It uses the example of faba bean protein production to illustrate considerations for developing alternative protein-rich ingredients for sustainable food systems. The paper covers the nutritional and anti-nutritional components of faba bean and reviews the effects of processing on the nutritional and techno-functionality of faba bean ingredients in traditional food applications and expanding markets of meat and dairy substitutes. It emphasises the need for a through the food value chain approach for designing new supply chains based on future planetary and human health needs. Key findings and conclusion: Currently, there are disjointed approaches to food ingredient development. This will not achieve the necessary transformative changes to meet the sustainable development goals. A transdisciplinary effort that links a knowledge of crop production, nutrition, consumer science, material science and processing will be needed to help inform and direct agronomy, processing and ingredient production requirements. This review highlights the opportunity to design desired characteristics into future pulse supply chains. The implementation of these design principles will need to be supported through appropriate policies and incentives and the use of new business models to accelerate innovation.