Lysine Supply Is a Critical Factor in Achieving Sustainable Global Protein Economy

Ilkka Leinonen (Corresponding Author), Pietro P. M. Iannetta, Robert M. Rees, Wendy Russell, Christine Watson, Andrew P. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Production of animal-based protein is a significant global source of greenhouse gases, a major driver of agricultural land use and a source of nutrient loss to the environment. In this study, we provide a new assessment of the current sources of proteins in the human diet and analyze the options for increasing the use of plant-based sources, taking the protein quality, as indicated by the amino acid composition, into account. The results demonstrate the importance of sustainable global supply of lysine, one of the amino acids essential for human nutrition. It is demonstrated here that the current production of plant-based lysine that can be considered as replacement of lysine obtained from animal protein largely comes from soybean originating from a small number of countries. There are limited large-scale options to broaden the supply of plant-based lysine, namely increase of soya production outside its current main production areas, increase of production of legumes other than soya or other lysine-rich crops, obtaining plant-based lysine from sources not currently used for human consumption, or manufacturing lysine from non-standard plant-based sources (e.g., through fermentation from sugar). All of these options would require major changes in the structure of global agricultural production and associated agri-food systems and would especially have consequences on agricultural land use.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Volume3
Early online date24 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Fingerprint

lysine
proteins
agricultural land
land use
animal proteins
human nutrition
greenhouse gases
animal production
essential amino acids
amino acid composition
protein sources
manufacturing
legumes
fermentation
soybeans
agriculture
sugars
nutrients
crops
diet

Keywords

  • amino acids
  • protein
  • food production
  • livestock
  • climate change
  • land use

Cite this

Lysine Supply Is a Critical Factor in Achieving Sustainable Global Protein Economy. / Leinonen, Ilkka (Corresponding Author); Iannetta, Pietro P. M.; Rees, Robert M.; Russell, Wendy; Watson, Christine; Barnes, Andrew P.

In: Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Vol. 3, 27, 04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Leinonen, Ilkka ; Iannetta, Pietro P. M. ; Rees, Robert M. ; Russell, Wendy ; Watson, Christine ; Barnes, Andrew P. / Lysine Supply Is a Critical Factor in Achieving Sustainable Global Protein Economy. In: Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. 2019 ; Vol. 3.
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