Hvordan ser fremtiden for kødprotein ud?

Direktør, Ph. D hos INRA (det franske institut for jordbrugsvidenskab), Jean-Francois Hocquette der er anerkendt forsker inden for muskelbiologi og spisekvalitet af oksekød, giver et indblik i hvordan fremtiden for kødprotein kan komme til at se ud.

Den 18.-19. september 2017 afholdes IMS-Symposium
(International Meat Secretariat), i København. Symposiet organiseres af Danish Meat Research Institute (DMRI) - en af Landbrug & Fødevarers samarbejdspartnere på kødprotein-området. Team manager og Seniorkonsulent hos DMRI Lene Meinert har interviewet en af hovedtalerne. 

Challenges facing the meat industry

Lene Meinert: What are the biggest challenges facing the meat industry today and in the future?

Dr. Hocquette: The biggest challenge for the meat industry is to better meet consumers’ expectations, which are increasingly diverse. There is more emphasis on food quality at the consumer end. Innovative approaches should be developed to predict meat sensory quality, and more generally meat intrinsic qualities (for example nutritional and technological qualities).  Also, on an economic point of view, the purchasing power of consumers is a key determinant of the level of meat consumption per capita. In the case of beef, the biggest challenge for the European beef industry is the regular decline of beef consumption per capita. On a social point of view, high stocking densities are becoming challenge due to environmental issues. Societal discussions about the concentration of animals (i.e. high stocking densities) are increasing and intensive livestock practices are highly criticized.

Solutions to the increasing demand for protein

Lene Meinert: What realistic solutions do you see when it comes to meeting the increasing demand for protein?

Dr. Hocquette: It is very clear that our society today is facing a number of challenges simultaneously, which are the necessity of feeding a growing human population while also reducing the carbon footprint from our food and while also responding to developing social expectations in developed countries, in particular for animal welfare. The media have an important responsibility in the spread of these ideas, with often simplistic views, which induce acceptation of false arguments, and hence of exaggerated solutions, such as the promotion of artificial meat. In the future, different types of meat (cloned, genetically modified, meat substitutes such as products manufactures from plant proteins and mycoproteins (fungal proteins), animal proteins such as insects) will be available on the market and will be strong competitors of artificial or conventional meat since they are already expanding in the market.

All these solutions are not exclusive and in reality, they complete each other. The solution to societal challenges is therefore multi-faceted and not uniquely scientific, the reduction of losses and waste, and the fair distribution of food resources between citizens of the world involves organizational and political considerations.

Alternatives to conventional protein

Lene Meinert: In your mind, what are the best alternatives to conventional protein? And why?

Dr. Hocquette: The question is not to find the best alternatives to conventional proteins. There is no given pathway to food and nutrition security. Because the challenge is complex, each part of the World will have to find its own pathway in coherence with its own culture and history for facing global challenges. Building global governance for land use and food security through a multi-stakeholder approach is probably a key solution.

Taken into account the economic, environmental and societal issues, producing high-quality and premium meat, with high extrinsic quality traits (i.e. with non-food benefits for the society) are probably promising options for the future of the meat industry in Europe. The meat sector has to constantly adapt itself to context evolutions, in order to satisfy consumer expectations. Its future is to answer the challenge of sustainability and the requirement of the quality, together with protecting food safety, insuring nutritional and gustative quality but also environmental protection, animal welfare, territories balance, landscape quality, gastronomy, etc.

What should Danish ingredient producing companies do?

Lene Meinert: What can the Danish meat industry do, in order to comply with the future in regards to protein?

Dr. Hocquette: On a long term-basis, in developed countries, the European meat sector is in a crossroad due to increasing consumers’ expectations. Indeed, societal questions appear to be more and more meaningful, raising of new search questions in the fields of the human and social sciences, such as the importance to take into account the degradation of the environment and the global warming. Meat is in fact difficult dissociable to the livestock from which it arises. By combining expert opinions and literature reviews on the subject, it has been established that livestock farming systems provides consequent good and services, in particular in terms of production of food (especially proteins), the environmental quality, territorial vitality but also of cultural identity. Indeed, nowadays in the media, the services provided by livestock and their positive effects are less considered than its negative effects, thereby negatively influencing consumers’ opinions.

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