Polyphenols are compounds believed to have a wide range of health benefits. Concentrated and purified forms of these bioactive compounds could be used in various products and benefit the consumer.
Currently, there are no large-scale technologies available to separate polyphenols from large process streams in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way with a non-toxic solvent route.
Figure 1: Concentrated fiber-containing waste product
The objective of this study is to develop an environmental-friendly, cost effective, and mild processing method to extract polyphenols from a waste product of the food processing industry. This waste product has a very concentrated fibrous matrix, which has to be taken into account. We will design the process to separate the polyphenols out of this concentrated and complex matrix in a systematic way. Eventually, we are aiming to design a toolbox for a large-scale separation process of polyphenols and find a validated model for this process.
Figure 2: Separating polyphenols out of a concentrated waste stream
The initial focus is on gaining more knowledge about the main material and its containing polyphenols. Thermodynamic, physical, chemical, and nutritional properties of the material and the present polyphenols will play a big roll in choosing unit operations for the overall process. The focus of the practical work will be on testing mechanisms and extraction methods to make the polyphenols available and separate them out of the matrix. At the same time, process synthesis will be developed in theory.
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This project is carried out within the framework of DSTI and is conducted in cooperation with Unilever.