Roquette sponsors launch of plant-based project supported by French government

AlinOVeg works towards the development of a French plant-based source sector and dairy alternatives

Roquette, Agri Obtentions, Eurial, Greencell, INRAE and the Université Lumière Lyon 2, have announced the launch of a collaborative project, AlinOVeg. For the next five years, public and private stakeholders will work together on the challenges of innovation in plant-based food to develop a French plant-based source sector (pea and fava bean protein) and to offer healthy and sustainable alternatives to dairy products. This project is supported by a budget of €11.4m, of which €8.3m are provided by the French government as part of the France 2030 actions and operated by Bpifrance.

In a context of the accelerating food transition for more sustainable solutions and a growing desire for food independence via the use of more local supply chains, AlinOVeg will be a key project, driving innovation and generating new markets. At the heart of this consortium, Roquette is associated with five other partners from the ecosystem of research and higher education such as INRAE and the Université Lumière Lyon 2, and private stakeholders like Agri Obtentions, Eurial and Greencell.

A collaborative project involving six partners

AlinOVeg brings together the following players of the plant-based value chain:

  • Roquette, the project’s sponsor, is a French family-owned company that develops plant proteins and one of the global leaders of plant-based ingredients for the food, nutrition, and health markets.
  • Eurial is a company recognised in France and Europe for its skills in the dairy product manufacturing industry (cheeses, ultra-fresh ranges, specialty butters, specialty ingredients, etc) and its expertise in the alternative milk sector (goat, sheep, vegetable).
  • INRAE (National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment), a French research organisation specialized in these areas.
  • Université Lumière Lyon 2, French social science university involved in this project via its TrAlim Chair dedicated to the food transition.
  • Agri Obtentions, a subsidiary of INRAE, a key player in the development and the distribution of pulse varieties, in particular peas, fava beans and lentils.
  • Greencell, SME specialising in microbial biotechnologies, whose mission is to research, to develop, to produce, and to market active ingredients derived from raw materials of microbial origin, intended for the agroecology, the environment, the human and animal nutrition and the health sectors.

The AlinOVeg project is labeled by the Vitagora, Bioeconomy for Change and Clubster Nutrition Santé Longévité competitiveness clusters.

From the field to the plate

AlinOVeg’s objective is to develop innovative solutions and products (pea and fava bean varieties, protein ingredients, plant-based alternatives to cheese and plant-based desserts) and to create a strong and sustainable French sector. 

To achieve this, AlinOVeg relies upon a development driven by consumers’ expectations. AlinOVeg will offer products with optimal functional, nutritional, and organoleptic qualities. In addition, the project will rely on the development of more sustainable processes thanks to a large varietal selection, new valorisation processes and more resilient local sectors. AlinOVeg will also address farmers directly to better meet their needs and enable them to optimise the value of pea and fava bean crops. 

This five-year project will be marked by key research and development milestones to remove technological barriers along the value chain. 

Supported by France 2030 as part of the call for projects operated by Bpifrance’s “Food Needs of Tomorrow” of the “Sustainable and Healthy Food” acceleration strategy, AlinOVeg aims to be launched on the world market in the coming years.

“AlinOVeg is the largest collaborative innovation project supported by France 2030 in the food sector. It will provide benefits to consumers in terms of new, healthy, and tasty plant-based products, as well as new species, agricultural practices and protein ingredients to the entire sector,” said Ariane Voyatzakis, head of the agri-food sector at Bpifrance.

Sergio Neves, head of open innovation at Roquette, added: “Thanks to this global and unprecedented project, supported by Bpifrance, we are bringing together public and private stakeholders from both research and industry. Driven by the same collective dynamic and ambition, we are keen to contribute to the development of a whole sector of plant-based sources and to offer healthy, sustainable and tasty solutions that meet today’s consumers and future generations’ expectations. This project will contribute to the current food revolution, in which we are involved, and to the development of a plant-based gastronomy.”