PROTEINLEG is a supra-autonomous Operational Group whose main objective is to develop new sources of food rich in innovative, profitable and efficient vegetable proteins from grain legumes. With the development of these new food sources, PROTEINLEG intends to provide an innovative solution to the situation of vegetable protein at national and European level, with a deficit in the trade balance of 70% and a great dependence on the livestock sector on soybeans as sole source of vegetable protein for the production of compound feed. PROTEINLEG aims to recover traditional legume varieties of through a sustainable and innovative cultivation, to use them as raw material to develop new foods rich in plant proteins that are healthy, tasty and attractive, both for human and animal consumption.

The project pursues a triple objective:

  1. Ensure sufficient and sustainable production of legumes and vegetable proteins, providing alternatives to soybeans and imports.
  2. Improve the quality and quantity of proteins in legumes through a multidisciplinary approach.
  3. Improve consumer acceptance of plant proteins through new tasty, healthy and attractive products.

The project is developed in four work plans:

  • Agrobiodiversity. The objective of this first stage is the selection of the traditional varieties of legumes with the greatest potential. For this, agronomic tests will be carried out in micro-plots and in extensive, under different environmental and stress conditions, evaluating the yield of the seeds, the quantity and quality of the proteins and the levels of antinutrients.
  • Sustainability. Studies will be carried out to improve the productivity of the selected varieties in less fertile agricultural lands and under conditions of abiotic and biotic stress, applying sustainable improvement approaches.
  • Formulation. In line with the current trend towards natural, innovative, sustainable and quality foods, previously selected varieties of legumes will be used to develop foods rich in vegetable protein, both for human and animal consumption (alternatives to meat and soybean). The nutritional components of these varieties will be evaluated and products with wide acceptance and good nutritional characteristics will be obtained.
  • Validation. Finally, the new sources of protein and the new products (feed and food) developed from them will be validated at a productive and industrial level. Food for human consumption will be evaluated for sensory and nutritional quality, in addition to shelf life tests. For its part, the feed will be evaluated in pigs and poultry, comparing the results obtained in terms of animal welfare and meat quality with a control group fed with soy-based feed.

PROTEINLEG is an innovation project 80% co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) of the European Union and 20% by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, within the framework of the National Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The General Directorate of Rural Development, Innovation and Agrifood Training (GDRDIAT) is the authority in charge of the application of these aids. Total budget: €556,947.36. Total grant: €552,147.36

To carry out this initiative, PROTEINLEG is made up of a multidisciplinary team of a supra-autonomous nature (Galicia, La Rioja, Andalucía and Madrid) that has a total of 14 participants among applicant members, subcontractors and collaborators.

  • Applicant members:
    • Fundación Empresa Universidad Gallega (FEUGA) (representative of the Group).
    • Ramiro Arnedo, S.A.
    • Almacenes Gamallo, S.L.
    • MIMIC SeaFood, S.L.U.
    • Misión Biológica de Galicia (MBG-CSIC).
    • Fundación Centro Tecnolóxico da Carne (CTC).
  • Outsourced members:
    • Centro Nacional de Tecnología y Seguridad Alimentaria (CNTA).
    • ProSeeds Hybrid S.L.U.
    • Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM, Unidad de Genómica).
  • Collaborating members:
    • Asociación INVEGEN-BIOVEGEN.
    • Asociación Española de Leguminosas (AEL).
    • Asociación Galega de Cooperativas Agroalimentarias (AGACA).
    • Asociación de Empresarios, Gandeiros e Agricultores da Limia (ADEGAL).
    • Asociación de Criadores de la Raza Porcina Celta (ASOPORCEL).