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Full name

GIANT LEAPS Gap resolutIon in sAfety, NuTritional, alLergenicity and Environmental assessments to promote Alternative Protein utilization and the dietary

Funding Programme



€ 11.9 Million





Accelerating the transition from animal-based to alternative dietary proteins – the dietary shift – is key to reducing the footprint of our food system in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), energy, water and land use, and other relevant environmental impacts, and for improving the health and well-being of people, animals and the planet. GIANT LEAPS delivers the strategic innovations, methodologies, and open-access datasets to speed up this dietary shift, in line with the Farm-to-Fork strategy and contributing to the Green Deal target of reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

Achieving the dietary shift in practice is inherently complex due to the diverse set of actors involved and further hindered by major knowledge gaps – scattered across the various alternative protein sources and the domains of health (safety, allergenicity and digestibility), environment (GHGs and other environmental and climate impacts, biodiversity, circularity), and/or barriers to adoption (technological, sensory, and consumer acceptance). The GIANT LEAPS consortium consists of the key actors and spans all expertise to address relevant knowledge gaps and proactively engages to arrive at optimized future diets based on alternative proteins that are broadly accepted across stakeholder groups. In order to deliver required insights for short-, mid- and long-term decision-making and impact, GIANT LEAPS protein sources have been selected for either targeted or full assessment based on their current level of specification. The innovations and improved methodologies combined with accessible and comprehensive information generated for a wide collection of alternative proteins will enable:

• Policymakers to prioritise changes in the food system towards the dietary shift based on the desired impact,

• Value chain actors to make strategic scientific, business and investment choices,

• The general public to make more sustainable and healthy dietary choices.

To achieve the mission, Giant Leaps will

  • Engage and co-create with policymakers, producers, businesses and networks, NGOs and consumers
  • Deliver 6 food prototypes and technological innovations that optimally utilise proteins with analytical results for health, safety and sustainability-related parameters
  • Deliver a safety by design toolbox, including novel cell-based tools for toxicological, allergenicity and de novo sensitisation analysis
  • Deliver an optimised and improved in vitro digestion method and standardised gut epithelial model that are validated by a human intervention study
  • Develop an integrated sustainability framework and complete an assessment of 9 selected alternative proteins value chains
  • Deliver an operational cloud data platform
  • Develop optimised future diets and compare the impact of the dietary shift on human health and the environment
  • Support policymakers to successfully develop food-related policies through policy briefs and promote the uptake of the project innovations and results within the scientific community, food industry and European citizens.