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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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structuring a new industry sector

Better meeting tomorrow's food production needs by incorporating pea and bean proteins into human food production - the idea is certainly attractive. A certain number of checks need to be lifted, however, as regards the large scale production of these pulses: their yields are often unreliable, and also processing techniques need to be optimised for producing concentrated protein-rich ingredients for incorporation in human food products. "These checks are, for the most part, linked to the taste characteristics of these proteins. We have been able to identify problems related to a "bean" taste. In other words, a "grassy" or bitter flavor," observes Gérard Million, Scientific Director of Dijon Céréales, a large agricultural cooperative based in Burgundy. It is from this context that Leg'Up emerged, a four-year project whose R&D program has just been launched with an initial phase of selection of genetic varieties.

Accredited by Vitagora and with national French funding, the project also involves INRA and the company Agri-Obtentions, the Centre for the Sciences of Taste and Food in Dijon, the technical centre Welience and, finally, the companies Sotexpro, Cosucra, Mondelez, Cerelab and Convivial. "INRA Dijon has already accumulated a world-class catalogue of of genetic varieties of fava beans and peas. They also have the scientific knowledge based on 40 years of testing," Gérard Million reminds us.

This accumulated knowledge will be invaluable for this project whose first aim is to study the genetics of the plants, in order to develop a dozen or so varietals of peas and fava beans with less pronounced taste characteristics. Subsequently, Leg'Up will also be looking into more gentle processing methods that also limit oxidation and the apparition of taste defects. "Our more or less long term goal is to end up with a structured industry sector with a couple of improved varieties that can be recognised and added to the official varietal register," he explains.

Coordinator: ARTEMIS / Gérard MILLION

Scientifique Manager UMR 1347 : Richard THOMPSON