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Last update: May 2021

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ALTERNATIVA Alternative protein sources in the European diets – integrating health risk-benefit and sustainability [EFSA Project]

Project coordinated by Ricardo Jorge, INSA Portugal

ALTERNATIVA aims to develop a holistic approach to assess the impact of alternative protein sources, integrating health and sustainability assessment (including health, environment, economy and societal aspects). Specifically, this project aims to gather and combine expertise in risk-benefit assessment and sustainable impact assessment, to capacitate the involved partners and to apply this to the evaluation of the impact of replacing red meat consumption by alternative protein sources.

 To achieve this aim, ALTERNATIVA has the following specific objectives:

  • To develop capacity among the project team for the methodologies involved in the health RBA and sustainability impact assessment;
  • To develop, in collaboration with different stakeholders (including EFSA), a protocol to integrate the impact of foods/diets on health and on sustainability;
  • To apply the derived protocol to a case study, to validate it with a real case scenario, estimating the health and sustainability impact of replacing red meat consumption by alternative protein sources; and
  • To disseminate and promote the established protocol to other potential EU users.

 ALTERNATIVA will be developed by a multidisciplinary team of partners from national health and food institutes, national food authorities, R&D institutions and academia. Six institutions from six different countries integrate the project’s consortium. The partners are geographically spread across the EU, provide expertise on the different disciplines of the project (risk-benefit assessment and sustainability impact assessment), and have different roles as food safety stakeholders. The complementary scientific expertise needed to address the aims of ALTERNATIVA, including nutrition, microbiology, toxicology, epidemiology, economics, environmental sciences, are covered by the multi-disciplinary consortium. Some partners have integrated previously-funded EFSA’s Partnering Grants in the field of RBA, namely RiskBenefit4EU (INSA, INRAe and DTU Food) and NovRBA (NKUA, INRAe and DTU Food). Two previous EU-FORA fellows integrate the team members of the consortium (Ricardo Assunção from INSA and Alexandru Supeanu from ANSVSA).