Currently, over 80% of the Indian citizens are structurally protein deficient in various degrees. The Alternative Protein India (API) consortium has made the challenge of structurally reducing this protein deficiency as its goal. The consortium envisions to apply novel Dutch fermentation technologies to fortify local food products with essential protein, making healthy diets more affordable for the ones in need of it. The insufficient access to effective protein rich staple food is recognized in many studies, including two recent ones of Wageningen and the Dutch Embassy in India. The protein deficiency of Indian citizens is one of the priorities of the Indian government, which created an ecosystem known as Right to Protein. The goals of this ecosystem include protein accessibility, affordability, intake diversity and education.  https://righttoprotein.com/
Typical pathways to increase protein intake, are to either increase the intake of specific type of protein rich vegetables and pulses or to increase the consumption of animal based products, such as meat, dairy products and eggs. In line with the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle of 20 to 40% of the Indian population, the option of increased animal based products is not a (desirable) option. Moreover, the needed increase of production of animal based products will bring along undesired environmental challenges, such as the substantial increase of greenhouse gasses. Increasing the intake of protein rich vegetables and pulses, requires the availability and affordability of these products, next to a behavioural shift of consumers to alternative diets. The consortium considers it unlikely that this happens on short term.
Therefore the API consortium aims to introduce an third pathway to increase protein intake, by fortifying staple foods with essential and high quality proteins (balanced amino acid profile and good digestibility). The solutions aims to make current diets more healthy, whilst simultaneously keeping it affordable for the population with low incomes and therewith lower rates of protein deficiency related health concerns, such as anemia which is prevailing at children under the age of 12. The societal challenge of reducing protein deficiency and the recent development of novel fermentation technologies for protein fortification, form the inspirational foundation of the API consortium and project idea.