The expertise of the researchers will be used to provide information from the literature and previous experiments on the chemical composition of residual biomass that could remain after the protein has been extracted from its source. The information will guide the selection of the microbiome / enzyme mix to use in the biotransformation (Task 4) which will ultimately determine the extent of circularity and capability to create new value streams. The selection criteria for these alternative proteins will include feedback from Tasks 1, 4 and 5 to enable development of a new value chain based on protein as a nutritional base for inclusion into foods. The Grassland, Crop and Marine screened for protein will be assessed for suitability to Irish growing conditions. Subsequently the proteins extracted from the grassland, crops and marine screened in this Task will eventually be in incorporated into foods (Task 6) for evaluation by in-vitro and in-vivo (human clinical) trials in Task 5.
A novel approach to utilise grassland as a resource for production of high quality protein for human use will be examined in this task as part of the Grassland study proteins will be extracted directly from grassland (mixed grasses / forages) leaving a residual biomass. This biomass will be subjected to transformation into phytochemicals, antioxidants and other functional compounds to add value to the supply chain through evaluation in Task 1.
Intra-task collaboration will feature, for example, harvesting of marine resources (sea weed, minerals) directly or in-combination with fermented biomass coming from Task 4 via biotransformation.
Studies will be carried out at the Animal and Grassland department in Teagasc Moorepark. Trials will be carried out to evaluate any extractable residual biomass that can be used for animal feed supplementation. For example, possible supplements produced by sea minerals, acid buff, from the residues following protein extraction.