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Development of novel functional proteins and bioactive ingredients from rapeseed, olive, tomato and citrus fruit side streams for applications in food, cosmetics, pet food and adhesives’ (‘Pro-Enrich’)

Summary of the project

The project is led by the Danish Technological Institute and is designed to develop sustainable and competitive bio-based industries in Europe. Pro-Enrich will develop an integrated sustainable biorefinery approach capable of processing a range of agricultural residues for the delivery of high value protein and bioactive product streams, suited to the needs of a wide range of high value end uses. The consortium with the involved industries sees a huge potential and a strong need for developing more cost- and energy-efficient biorefining technologies and processing methods. These technologies must achieve purity levels that meet market specifications and regulations. Pro-Enrich will address these challenges by producing a range of proteins and bioactive compounds suitable for applications in food, pet food, adhesives, and cosmetics. Specifically, Pro-Enrich will define, develop, and test new and sustainable optimised technologies for pre-treatment, extraction, separation, and the purification of target compounds including functional proteins, polyphenols, dietary fibres, and pigments meeting the market expectations from side streams in the processing of rapeseed, olives, citrus, and tomatoes. The structure of the work is designed to facilitate the development of key biomass fractionation and separation technologies from Technology Readiness Level – TRL 2 (technology concept formulated) through to TRL 4 (technology validated in lab) and TRL 5 (technology validated in relevant environment), through an iterative process of feedstock mapping, laboratory process development, functionality/performance testing of samples, pilot upscaling, and demonstration of best business cases. The InnoRenew CoE, supported by the University of Primorska, will strongly contribute to this project by characterising and analysing the targeted compounds after experimental treatments, extraction efficacy, and their suitability for use with industrial partner needs. 

InnoRenew CoE main activities in the project 

The Pro-Enrich project takes the process of fractionising agricultural residues to a new level, identifying proteins, polyphenols, dietary fibres, and pigments for use as food ingredients, pet food, cosmetics, and adhesives. Agricultural residue streams include rapeseed meal, olives, tomatoes, and citrus fruit industries.