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26 oct 2020


Strategic basic research about the pretreatment of biomass for the separation of macronutrients

The project

Flanders has the vision to be a circular economy before 2050. With this economical system they wish to maximize the re-usability of products and raw materials and to minimize the value destruction. Within the concept of a circular economy a.o. bypass flows and new biomass (algae, seaweed, etc.) from the agri-food industry are used as raw materials for making new products with added value; in this way a lot of loss of biomass can be avoided.

To produce high quality products in a economical profitable way, starting from bypass flows or new biomass from the agri-food industry, it is important that the production cost is proportional to the final value of the end product. Therefore it is important that the present macro and micro nutrients, in their bioactive form, are preserved as good as possible and are released as efficient as possible (= high returns) throughout the processing process. In doing so the isolation of functional nutrients is a special challenge.

The EffSep project wants to gather knowledge about how macro nutrients (proteins, polysacharides and lipids) can be stabilized and extracted from different types of biomass via combinations of unit operations, that preface a separation process and the further downstream processing.

The extracted macro nutrients also need to be marketed after processing as functional food and/or feed ingredient or as an alternative, in other words the processing has to be food grade and conform the current legislation.

To benchmark and evaluate the different technologies the research will focus on the exemption of functional macro nutrients in well chosen model streams of which is known that the exemption of macro nutrients forms a challenge. In this way, the EffSep project wishes to provide the basics for further research that makes the changeover for the industry and in the end will lead to innovations in processes for stabilization and isolation in function of specific bypass flows of businesses active in the agri-food sector.

Participating partners:

  • UGent: Prof. K. Raes (coördinator), Prof. E. Van Damme, Prof. A. Skirtach, Prof. K. Dewettinck, Prof. S. Demeester, Prof. B. Sas, dr. Kaat Verplanken
  • KU Leuven: Prof. J. Delcour, Prof. A. Van Loey, Prof. I. Foubert, dr. K. Brijs, dr. K. Gebruers
  • UHasselt: Prof. D. Vandamme
  • Flanders’ FOOD: dr. Maarten Uyttebroek

This project is subsidized by VLAIO as c-SBO (HBC.2019.002).

For more info about this project you can contact Kaat Verplanken.

Partners EFFSEP


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