The LETSPROSEED project is financed by the French National Research Agency (ANR) within the framework of the 4th Investment Program for the Future (France 2030) and aims at developing legume crops in France. It is coordinated by the UMR Agroecology of Dijon and involves several BIA resarch teams.

Legumes have a central role to play in food and agro-ecological transitions because of their ability to accumulate large quantities of protein even in the absence of nitrogen fertilizers. However, they are underutilized in the French agri-food system due to agronomic and technological limitations.
Improvements are therefore necessary at different levels, from production to processing and consumption, taking into account environmental, agronomic, sensory and nutritional concerns. In particular, the presence of secondary metabolites in seeds affects the organoleptic and techno-functional properties of proteins as well as their digestibility.
As the abundance of these metabolites and seed quality are influenced by biotic and abiotic stresses, it becomes urgent to generate knowledge on the trade-off between quality and stress response, while exploring genetic or remediation strategies to reduce the impact of these molecules. Moreover, as soft fractionation strategies have been proposed in this project to obtain less processed ingredients (concentrates), the reduction of these molecules becomes even more crucial.

To meet this challenge, LETSPROSEED will use a synergistic approach between the two axes "production" (axis 1) and "processing & consumption" (axis 2). This approach combines different disciplines (genetics, ecophysiology, chemistry) and actors with complementary skills, spread along the value chain (agronomists, breeders & food industries), with the objective of providing new knowledge, tools and ingredients to develop sustainable food systems based on legumes.


LETSPROSEED project: Developing sustainable legume-based food systems - from varietal selection and seed production to the evaluation of the functional properties of these ingredients in food products, including the processing involved and their effect on ingredient and food quality.

A multi-species approach focused on the three most widely grown legumes in France (soybean, pea and faba bean) will be used in axis 1 to identify agronomic levers to improve yield and seed quality in the face of reduced inputs and climate change. Axis 2 will focus on faba bean as it represents a very promising source of protein but is not widely used in the agri-food sector. Seeds from pea and faba bean genetic resources will be characterized for various traits related to the research of axis 2, particularly those related to nutrition, health or sensory properties. We will generate knowledge on secondary metabolites associated with astringency while studying the role of these compounds in seed resistance to bruchids. The data will pave the way for genetic improvements for various traits, including seed amino acid balance.

In axis 2, LETSPROSEED will provide knowledge on the impact of secondary metabolites on techno-functional properties(emulsification, gelation) of faba bean ingredients and on product quality, including oxidative stability. Pea will be used as a control given the experience already acquired on its use as an ingredient. In order to modulate the presence of certain metabolites, fermentation will be explored. The design of analogous prototypes of dairy products will be carried out by the industrial partners in order to validate their potential for commercial use. The impact of interactions between the different components (salivary, polyphenols, bean proteins) during the oral phase and digestion will be studied. The health effects of consuming faba bean products will be evaluated, including the ability of fermentation to reduce allergy problems. Finally, the environmental dimension will be taken into account in the multi-criteria evaluation of protein ingredients and matrices. LETSPROSEED will thus contribute to the development of legume protein ingredients with improved properties.

Several BIA teams are involved (ISD, PRP, and ALL):

  •     ISD: leader of the task "Characterization of the techno-functional properties of concentrated protein ingredients".
  •     PRP: leader of the task "Impact of purification process on plant protein-polyphenol interactions
  •     ALL: Responsible for the WP "Allergenicity & Health

Coordination:  Karine Gallardo-Guerrero, INRAE – UMR Agroécologie, INRAE Bourgogne Franche-Comté


  • Part1- INRAE
    • UMR1347 AGROECOLOGIE, Dijon
    • CSGA, Dijon
    • UMR1318 IJPB, Versailles
    • UR1268 BIA, Nantes
    • UMR1280 PhAN, Nantes
    • UMR1253 STLO, Rennes
    • IPS2, Gif-sur-Yvette
    • UMR1083 SPO (PROBE-PFP), Montpellier
  • Part2- UMR950 INRAE/UCN EVA, Caen
  • Part3- TERRES INOVIA, Paris
  • Part4- SOREDAB, La Boissière-Ecole
  • Part5- BEL, Suresnes
  • Part6- TERAXION (VIA VEGETAL), Le Loroux Bottereau
  • Part7- DANONE, Rueil-Malmaison
  • Part8- AGRI OBTENTIONS, Guyancourt
  • Part9- UMR PAM, Dijon

A project financed by a grant managed by the National Research Agency under France 2030

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Modification date : 11 September 2023 | Publication date : 20 December 2022 | Redactor : ISD