Protein transition: towards a sustainable future
If you want to contribute to the protein transition, this minor is for you. The minor focuses on the transition towards plant and alternative proteins in the context of the entire value chain: from soil to consumer.
The protein transition is the shift from consuming animal proteins to consuming plant-based and other new protein sources. This transition is necessary to facilitate a more sustainable diet without continuing to harm the valuable ecosystems on our planet.
In this minor you will work on a research project with fellow students in cooperation with a company that makes a relevant contribution to the protein transition. These projects are positioned throughout the food chain, from breeding and cultivation to the production of meat and dairy alternatives, market-oriented innovative research, and consumer buying behaviour. Each research project will consider sustainability aspects and their impact on the entire food chain.
In addition to working on a group project, you can develop your ambition and talents by specialising yourself in an area within the protein transition that you find interesting. The idea is to help you gain knowledge and skills as a professional in your future job or your own business.
We will examine the sustainable protein transition from a variety of angles; the primary sectors, secondary sectors and consumers. Below is a visual summary of these themes. The primary sector is about the production/cultivation of protein sources, while the secondary sector transforms raw materials from the primary sector into products and product components. To achieve change we need to educate and be informed by consumers. This means that we need to understand what consumer are looking to achieve, as well as how they expect to consume protein in the future. The environmental impact of consumer choices and influencing factors will be discussed as well.
We will talk about current and future protein sources, breeding technology to improve protein yield, cultivation and soil quality, protein extraction technology, technical and sensory functionality of plant and alternative proteins, health aspects, product development for plant-based foods and consumer behaviour.
What’s more, with this minor you will be able to further develop your research skills. Aside from several lectures on how to perform evidence-based research, you will also be able to put your research skills to use in specific assignments, all related to the protein transition.
The minor has the following learning outcomes:
- The student conducts practice-oriented research with fellow students into a specific part of the protein production chain, focusing on the transition to more sustainable (alternative) protein sources. During their research, students will evaluate sustainability aspects and consider the impact on the entire supply chain while maintaining a market-oriented focus.
- The student presents a critical and evidence-based vision of the protein transition, based on sustainability aspects, impact on the sector and the consumer.
Propaedeutic certificate and at least 40 credits from the 2nd year.
No mandatory books and such
The minor lasts 20 weeks with a study load of 40 hours per week. A variety of lectures, workshops, excursions and other activities will be organised to offer inspiration regarding various aspects of the protein transition. We expect students to attend all sessions and actively participate. Working together with other students and lectures yields the best results and learning experience.
- Learning goal 1: the group project will be assessed with a project report and a final presentation. Learning goal 2: the individual assigment will be assessed with a presentation and an oral assessment