The scientific approach of INGREEN

In this interview Prof. Rosalba Lanciotti from the University of Bologna talks about the scientific approach taken by the INGREEN project and innovative ingredients and products that have been developed thus far.

INGREEN’s scientific coordinator, Prof. Rosalba Lanciotti explains that the scientific approach taken by INGREEN is ‘based on the assumption that only tailor-made biotechnological approaches and eco-friendly processes, validated in industrial environments for their competitiveness in comparison with the benchmark technologies, may overcome the main barriers currently limiting the production of bio-based ingredients/compounds from paper and agro-food industry by-products. As well as their re-use into innovative, high quality and functional food, feed, pharma, cosmetic, nutraceutical and packaging products and their market uptake’.  

The need to address food and paper & pulp waste is apparent as the EU produces 88 million tonnes of food waste and 11 million tonnes of paper and pulp waste per year. Despite that these agro-food and paper mill side streams and by-products are sources of unexploited organic fractions. INGREEN will specifically focus on whey from cheese making, wheat and rye bran milling by-products and papermill side streams by exploiting them into bio-based innovative and functional ingredients and products, including:

  • safe microbial biomasses for food and feed sectors,
  • pre-fermented ingredients for bakery and nutraceutical sectors,
  • purified or GOS/LAB enriched whey for cometic and pharma sectors,
  • PHA enriched biomasses as prebiotic for nutritious feed, and
  • protocols for PHA extraction and purification for innovative biodegradable packaging formulation.

The graphic at the top of the page gives an overview the exploited side streams and the bio-based ingredients and bio-based products that are being developed by the project consortium.

According to Prof. Lanciotti, valuable results have been obtained in the first 20 months of project, for example ‘the optimized protocols for the production and/or the purification of some of the main bio-based ingredients such as Y. lipolytica biomasses, pre-fermented ingredients, purified or enriched whey LBA and GOS, PHA and PHA enriched biomasses were developed starting from different industrial by-products and side-streams. Moreover, some of these bio-based ingredients have already tested to produce bio-based innovative functional prototypes’.

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