Green routes for starch modification

The research described in the proposal addresses current societal concerns regarding environment and future (healthy) food availability. The objective is to develop new technologies to modify starch and to develop new starch- based food ingredients. The utilization of reactive extrusion and enzymes to enable starch modifications are considered innovative within the agri-food sector. The proposed innovations therefore contribute to various missions of the Agri & Food sector being A. Circular agriculture and D. Appreciated, healthy and safe foods. This project is focussed on the well-established starch sector, as part of the potato processing industry. Extrusion and biocatalysis are benign methodologies in line with many of the green chemistry principles. As such, applying these methodologies for starch-based food ingredients aids to the sustainable growth of the starch sector and therefore contribute to securing its future profitability.  

In this project we will:

1. Evaluate the potential of extrusion technology to produce new starch-derived products by crosslinking starch with natural biopolymers, such as non-starch polysaccharides.

2. Explore new biocatalytic approaches for starch modification. The purpose is to create new starch structures with enhanced functional and/or health properties for food. With the latter we want to address health related topics such as functional dietary fibre, fat replacement and slow digestible carbohydrates. Furthermore, we would also involve industrial application studies to investigate potential functionality in areas beyond food.

The expected impact of the project is high, for the starch industry as cleaner technologies and new products are being developed. Moreover, given the replication potential of the technologies involved, impact can also be generated within other parts of the agri-food sector and beyond.