How Controlled Environment Agriculture can aid the protein transition

As the world shifts towards plant-based sources of protein, we will need to increase production to meet demand without reducing the supply of fresh produce. Controlled environment agriculture (CEA), in the form of greenhouse or vertical farming integrations, could provide an appropriate solution to meet this demand. However, at LettUs Grow we believe in careful and thoughtful innovation. Making sure that we don’t deliver a high-tech solution just for the sake of a high-tech solution is vital. To properly utilize CEA in the protein transition imperative, we must carefully consider: the technology chosen; the crops grown; the stages of growth; and the wider economic, environmental and social model behind a controlled environment solution.

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Protein plant factories: producing and steering soybean protein content in indoor farming

In rich countries there is an increasing consumer interest towards plant-based protein compared to animal ones, due to health and environmental concerns as well as animal welfare. Nowadays, Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), such as greenhouses and vertical farming, are already being used to produce highly nutritious crops with improved functional ingredients (e.g., minerals, vitamins), that are beneficial to human health.

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Biopolymer substrates. The way forward for CEA.

Vertical farms, and CEA in general, have the potential to feed the expanding world population. Apart from sustainability issues with mining peat and coco, the availability of (natural) substrates is not sufficient to grow enough fresh produce. Next generation substrates, such as biopolymer based growing mediums, promise to solve these issues and are the way forward for CEA.

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Consumer perception of vertical farming

Vertical farming is an interesting new way of producting vegetables, herbs and other plants. For market acceptance of the products it is necessary to find out what consumer awareness is, how and where vegetables grow and how they position vertical farming in relation to field and greenhouse cultivation. The results of a qualitative and quantitative study among Dutch consumers and buyers of all types of fresh vegetables and herbs learns that positioning of vertical farming is a challenge in the Netherlands.

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Sustainable and healthy proteins

Within the Sustainable Food Initiative (SFI), we identified four topics of interest and relevance for the protein transition to work on in a collaborative approach.

  1. Towards a global improvement of a healthy protein –> ingredient –> product
  2. Whole material approach – mild fractionation
  3. Whole chain approach
  4. Techno functional properties of plant & cellular proteins and use of predictive & automated screening approaches
    These will be elaborated upon in more detail in the presentation.
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Success Factors for Vertical Farming

Is vertical farming viable? Current energy prices have changed business models dramatically. What are the primary success factors? In this presentation Theo Tekstra will go back to basics and discuss the critical success factors for vertical farming. He will also discuss a not so often discussed vertical farming application which is already viable and profitable: Vertical Propagation.

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A scientific approach for developing plant-based whole-cut meat

To develop plant-based whole-cut meat that mimics animal meat, it is essential to understand the organoleptic effects of the structural and chemical properties of meat. Redefine Meat evaluates and quantifies the impact of each parameter on the sensory experience, using the data to develop plant-based materials and components for whole-cut meat. In this talk, the following topics will be discussed: Redefine Meat’s journey toward the perfect animal-free steak, the technology behind the innovation, the discoveries and innovations along the way, and the challenges that still lie ahead.

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3D printing technology and how it can help create plant based foods


Since the start of 3D Food Printing it has been used to create products with ever increasing complexity.
The possibility to deposit materials in specific amounts and positions and thus create unique material compositions and distributions within a single product is what is unique about 3D printing. As such, this allows for the creation of products with very specific properties, including structure and texture. The learnings from the past decade form the basis for the creation of novel plant-based food products.

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Addressing food-system challenges through protein diversification: the EIT food approach

The transition to a more sustainable food system requires dietary changes which reduce protein demand from traditional sources. Protein diversification can play an important role in enhancing the resilience of food systems contributing to meeting the needs of a growing population and addressing the environmental and climate impact of food production and consumption.

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