Project description

The ReValueProtein project aims to establish and optimise protocols to extract, characterise and test proteins and peptides from beef and pork fifth quarter products, for their potential application as functional and bioactive ingredients.

Researchers are generating technical know-how to support the meat industry in developing new added-value products, minimising waste generation and prioritising low input/low energy approaches, alongside the use of emerging technologies.

ReValueProtein Research Project (Exploration of Irish meat processing streams for Recovery of high Value Protein based ingredients for food and non-food uses, Grant Award No. 11/F/043) is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the National Development Plan 2007–2013 funded by the Irish Government.

The main project activities fall under three key scientific pillars:
I.  Characterization of source materials, extracts and novel products;
II. Processing of source materials to generate products (including assessment of novel process technology and working up to pilot scale production);
III. Evaluation of applications: techno-functional, health promoting, bioactive, bioavailability, tissue engineering.

All of these are underpinned by analysis of consumer attitudes and preferences towards sustainable processing and generated products.


Overall project objectives


The central objective of ReValueProtein is to develop and optimize processing conditions for the generation of valuable protein rich functional co-products from low, neutral or negative value meat processing streams. A summary of the main objectives per project Task is given below:



Analysis and compilation of information relating to by-product and waste stream usage patterns, opportunities for valorisation and associated legislation governing access to markets.


Background data collection, characterization of source materials and more detailed characterization of the functional co-products.


Optimal processing design for generation of protein rich co-products, exhibiting techno-functional properties, from offal, porcine blood & exudates.


Optimal processing design for generation of bioactive protein based compounds: bioactive peptide for cardiac and mental health; extracellular matrix proteins for tissue engineering applications.


Evaluation of techno-functional characteristics of protein rich co-products developed on task 3 at a fundamental level and in food systems.


Evaluating ability of offal and exudates to serve as source material for health promoting properties: low molecular weight compound and iron availability.


Evaluation of bio-functional characteristics of co-products generated on previous tasks: bioactivity, cytotoxicity, digestive stability, bioavailability; evaluation of extracellular matrix based scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.


Evaluation of consumer acceptable novel technologies to improve efficiencies in processing of source materials.


Evaluate the feasibility of scaling up a process to pilot scale level.


Assessing consumer perspectives on using ingredients derived from secondary, by-product or waste streams in food products and Development of a commercialisation strategy (including risk communication) to help realise the potential benefits of by-products management.


Appropriate and timely communication of outputs.


© ReValueProtein 2015.