UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Cork has been granted almost €10 million for research into vegan food, ingredients and agriculture.
A grant of €9.6 million has been funded by the European Commission (€8.2m) and its industry partners (€1.4m) in order for UCC researchers to investigate ways to reduce waste using by-products such as grain, barley and wheat, which are generally left behind after the production of pasta, beer and bread.
Researchers will also investigate the possibility of creating an agricultural system which retains CO2 rather than producing it, according to The Independent.
CO2 is a type of greenhouse gas which, in large amounts, can have detrimental effects on the environment and can lead to melting ice caps and rising sea levels.
The 'Smart Protein' project follows a series of new EU initiatives such as PROTEIN (Personalized Nutrition For Healthy Living), an initiative developed to use Artificial Intelligence in order to assist people in making healthier dietary choices.
Research at UCC will begin in January of next year, with the first foods and ingredients expected to be on Irish shelves by the year 2025.
Project leader Dr Emanuele Zannini of UCC's School of Food and Nutritional Sciences spoke to The Independent of the potential for the project.
"Ireland is the last place you'd think of for this kind of change of direction in food production."
"It's the black sheep in Europe for its meat and dairy carbon footprint, but I saw that as an opportunity."