Research

INGREEN will demonstrate bio-based safe and high-quality ingredients that will be produced from underused food and pulp and paper by-products using safe, sustainable and efficient tailor-made biotechnologies and eco-friendly approaches.
The biotechnological approaches will be based on the use of selected wild (not engineered) robust and tailored microorganisms, already employed at industrial level for the production of specific foods or chemicals (e.g. citric acid). One of INGREEN partner, UNIBO, have an essential tool to reach the set goals through its wide collection of yeast strains, enzymes and bacteria. This will allow the selection of the most appropriate strain(s)/consortia in relation to the: i) physico-chemical, composition and process features of each considered side stream/by-product; ii) features of the end products to be obtained; iii) constraints of scaling up at industrial level (yield, production rate); iv) integration and acceptance of new biotechnologies in the existing industrial facilities; v) competition with not-bio-based compounds already available in the market.
The considered side streams and by-products are generally characterized as being variable in composition and exhibiting very harsh conditions for subsequently processing. Moreover, they have low concentrations of nutrients (for microbial growth) and precursors of the target bio-based products. However, the optimized biotechnological processes will allow the recovery of valuable bioactive compounds, chemicals and ingredients in amounts and within time spans compatible with industrial needs.
INGREEN aims to produce the following innovative functional and high-quality prototypes easily exploitable for diverse sectors:

  1. lactobionic acid (LBA) and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) (pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic sectors) and safe microbial biomasses (starter adjuncts for functional cheese production) from whey;
  2. pre-fermented ingredients containing antioxidants, antimicrobials and flavourings (for bakery products and personal care products) from the by-products of the wheat and rye milling;
  3. nutritive polyhydrohyalkanoates (PHA) in enriched selected biomasses (prebiotic for the animal feed) and purified and characterized PHA to be re-used for the production of biodegradable bag in box from paper mill side streams. Also, PHA-based biodegradable bag in box for liquid products will be produced.