NextGen TALKS Proteins – Romain Canuel

Interview with the Next Generation Students!

Can you please introduce yourself?

My name is Romain Canuel and I am a final year engineer student in food science and bioengineering in France (Bordeaux). I had the opportunity to work at Matís as an intern involved in the NextGenProteins project from June to November 2021.

Can you explain to us what you did during your internship?

I focused on one of the alternative sources of proteins identified in NextGenProteins : spirulina. The microalgae was supplied by an Iceland company : VAXA. My main goal was to make enzymatic hydrolyses on different types of spirulina to produce small peptides and investigate the potential bioactivities (antioxidant properties, inhibition of collagenase, etc.) of these peptides.  

Were you aware of the need for alternative proteins before working on the NextGenProteins project?

Yes I was aware of the need for alternative proteins thanks to my university background. In the NextGenProteins project I realized that it was a major issue in the food industry and I was able to discover many options and that a lot of research projects were actually in the process.

Would you be willing to eat food products with microalgae, insect or single cell proteins in the future?

As I am aware of the need to find alternative sources of proteins after that experience I am more willing to eat  food products with microalgae, insect or single cell proteins than before. Even if some alternative sources like spirulina are not attractive to eat, I think that many solutions exist to incorporate them in food products that will have great color, odor or even good taste.

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