CLARA TALENS. New Foods expert at AZTI

The 3SLEKA project is aligned with the guidelines of the Euskadi 2030 Science, Technology and Innovation Plan, addressing the technological-digital, energy-climate and social and health transitions to move towards a more digital, green and inclusive Euskadi. Faced with the challenge of an ageing population, the project focuses on the challenges of promoting safe food ecosystems and the development of new foods for healthy ageing. Research into alternative protein sources, supported by Horizont Europe, seeks a dietary balance that improves health and reduces environmental pressure.

Legumes key to European self-sufficiency

Legume production is highlighted as essential for European self-sufficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the European Commission’s new “Green” regulation.

Over the coming years, the “3SLEKA” project will focus on researching and generating the knowledge and technology needed to develop new safe, healthy and sustainable legume-based ingredients and foods. These ingredients will not only improve the quality of life of the senior population, but will also transform the Basque food sector, enabling it to cope with the energy-climate transition, food security, nutritional well-being and the demographic challenge of an ageing population.

One of the specific objectives of the project is to promote a safer, more sustainable and healthier legume production ecosystem. This ecosystem will be based on agricultural management strategies that avoid the use of conventional synthetic agrochemicals. In addition, the project will investigate new legume-derived ingredients and their impact on food structures, with the aim of modelling research for application in food formulation.

Collaborative approach

The key to 3SLEKA’s approach is active collaboration with all stakeholders, including agriculture, research and the food industry, to develop sustainable and safe agricultural production and management strategies. AZTI and NEIKER, the leading food and agricultural innovators respectively, will work together to achieve the best results and design products and technologies that meet the sensory and nutritional requirements of the senior population.

Legume production represents a promising solution to the challenges of climate change and food security. The research and development of new legume-based ingredients, supported by 3SLEKA, will not only benefit the senior population, but will also serve as a model for other food sectors.

AZTI: benchmark in food innovation

For years, AZTI has been a leader in the research and development of innovative food technologies and products. These initiatives include, among others:

  • Technological innovation: Use of modelling tools to predict the impact of changes in formulation and processing on food quality.
  • Research protocols: Establishment of specific protocols to study the impact of legumes on digestibility and protein quality, enabling a better understanding of their benefits.
  • Collaboration with the food industry: Working together with companies and farmers to develop strategies to increase the production of legumes and facilitate their integration into the food chain, reducing the environmental impact and improving the sustainability of the sector.

3SLEKA represents a major step forward in food innovation and environmental protection, demonstrating the power of research and international cooperation in the search for a more sustainable future for our food system.

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