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Présentoir réfrigéré de supermarché, contenant des pièces de viande ou de volaille préparées et emballées.. © INRA, SLAGMULDER Christian

Shape practices through supply and demand

Seed legumes in human diets

Since the dawn of agriculture, man has included the seeds of leguminous plants in his diet. In developed countries in the 20th century, diets were marked by a steady increase of animal-based proteins to the detriment of plant-based proteins. Today, the same trend is happening in countries with emerging economies.

But in light of current global challenges (demographic, nutritional, agro-ecological and energy transitions, etc.), the 21st century may well be marked by a new trend in diets, where plant proteins, and more particularly legumes, play a greater role. This has both agro-ecological and nutritional advantages. Legumes do not require nitrogen fertilizers and contribute to the diversification of crop rotations, thereby reducing synthetic inputs and helping farmers cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. When it comes to nutrition, legumes are winners too, be it for direct consumption or as an ingredient in the agri-food industry, since they are rich in proteins and fibre. Food processing must be adapted to respond to the challenges of this trend.

Updated on 09/22/2017
Published on 10/10/2014
Keywords:

What are the challenges of making legumes a bigger part of human diets? What needs must be met in terms of knowledge-building and the expectations of players in the agri-food industry to boost the production, marketing and consumption of legumes? 

On 8 October 2014, INRA organised a seminar that brought together researchers from different disciplines (human nutrition, process engineering, physico-chemistry, plant genetics, economics, sociology, etc.), representatives of French national and European bodies in charge of food issues, technical institutes in charge of agricultural and agri-food production, and strategy-builders (producers, industrial players, etc.). Their mission? To assess current knowledge and expectations in terms of research and development.  

Presentations are available in French

Marie-Benoît MAGRINI (INRA AGIR – AGroécologie, Innovations et teRritoires) et Stéphane WALRAND (INRA UNH – Unité Nutrition Humaine)

Luc OZANNE (Sofiprotéol)

Martine CHAMP (INRA PHAN - PHysiologie des Adaptations Nutritionnelles)

Tomas AHRENS (Cabinet Make It Real)

Emmanuel BREHIER (Ici&La, Prix Ecotrophelia 2013)

Julianne CURRAN (Director of Nutrition, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs pour « Pulse Canada »)

Ambroise MARTIN (Groupe scientifique sur les produits diététiques, la nutrition et les allergies – EFSA Autorité Européenne de Sécurité des Aliments)

Marc ANTON (INRA BIA – Biopolymères Interactions Assemblages)

Denis CHEREAU (Plateforme R&D IMPROVE)

 Benoît CARROUEE (UNIP)

Philippe MARQUIS (TERRENA)

Trois ateliers en parallèle ont permis d'approfondir les débats :

Restitution des ateliers et conclusion