Biorefinery of protein containing biomass

A large part of the crops produced by agriculture do not end up on consumer plates but are traded as by-product in the food processing industry. In food processing, all components not contributing to the central application are considered a side stream and eventually assigned to a relatively low-value application. These side streams represent a huge loss of value, both in terms of costs as well as resource efficiency. The valorization of such side streams and co-production of nonfood products are, therefore, research priorities.

Focus points of the project

  • Biomass availability and usability, storage, transport and quality control
  • Development of mild processes (pretreatment, separation and preservation), that make efficient use of biomass components, water, energy and minerals (closed loops) and do not compromise the intrinsic quality of raw materials and its constituents
  • Co- production; optimization of energy and raw materials efficiency through coupling of value chains over the domains food, feed, biobased products (non-food)

Deliverables of the project

  • Knowledge buildup of creation and disruption of interactions of constituents as for instance: protein/phenol complexes, cellulose/hemicellulose cellulose/lignin complexes
  • Knowledge on design of processes with a back engineering approach to the functionality needed for nonfood industry
  • Optimized use of biomass (new sources, all fractions, new applications)
  • Process and technology development (mild fractionation of the protein, carbohydrate, lignin, water and minerals), preservation of the functionalities utilizing green and clean technologies, as well as physical (special separation technology) and (Bio) chemical approaches
  • Application studies to verify exchangeability of raw materials and intermediates over the different domains (food, feed, biobased products)