1334 Eckles Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55108, USA
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Welcome to the Plant Protein Innovation Center, an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to studying plant and alternative proteins.
The PPIC is proud to have 23 membersat both the Partner and Associate level, which span the supply chain. Out of these 23 members, 14 were founding members who joined the Center within just over a year of its inauguration.
We are striving to be first. The plant protein innovation center (PPIC) is the first center of its kind in the nation for plant and other alternative proteins. The PPIC will bring together interdisciplinary researchers and industry partners to produce and study nutritious and functional plant protein ingredients and products, working all the way from breeding and genetics to processing, formulation, and marketing.
The PPIC will address industry-identified plant-protein challenges and opportunities to develop a wealth of interdisciplinary research.
Create active platform to study and promote plant proteins
Gain the involvement of key industry players
Establish a cohort of interdisciplinary researchers
Develop research programs that address industry-identified challenges and opportunities
Develop and disseminate a wealth of interdisciplinary knowledge and technologies to advance plant proteins
Create momentum and acquire funding from diverse sources to accelerate outputs
Foster partnerships, scientific exchange, and interdisciplinary interactions
Train the next generation of researchers, who will become scientists for future hires
Address the consumer desire for nutritious and healthy food
Have a positive impact on the environment
Provide additional protein sources for the growing population
Provide revenue to farmers
Become a nationally and internationally recognized protein center of excellence
Plant-based proteins are more in demand than ever before. As our society becomes more health conscious and at the same time concerned with the environment, demand for plant-based protein has steadily increased. Specifically, increases in vegan population and health conscious consumers are among the main drivers for plant protein popularity. This has created a need to not only develop more plant-based protein ingredients, but to seek sustainable and environmentally friendly sources.
Coming Together to Grow Research
While there has been some research done on novel proteins, the information is far from being comprehensive and is done in isolation. Some scientists are researching the nutritional quality of peas, others are breeding new dry beans varieties, while others are investigating processing methods for canola. By combining individual efforts and ideas, we can do more and reach attainable goals faster. The PPIC will invite scientists both internal and external to the University of Minnesota to be part of a research cohort. Collaboration will empower plant-based protein research by allowing scientists to come together to think beyond their area of focus. Working together will facilitate cross-lab use of high-end instrumentation that can uncover more information than ever before, and will open up larger grant opportunities. Partnering with industry is essential. The PPIC requires the support of key industry players, who are driven to work together towards a better future. Industry partners, will be protein suppliers, producers, and users, but all having common interests. In addition to individual researchers coming together with industry, partnership with international entities such as the Canadian Consulate and their associated Protein Highway Initiative, other research institutions/centers, commodity groups, entrepreneurs, and government agencies are imperative to the mission and success of the Center. These partnerships will ultimately provide research diversity and unique perspectives that lead to innovative solutions to real-world problems.
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