Read on
Various by-product streams are created in the food industry, often used as animal feed, for bioenergy generation or for composting. However, they also contain valuable ingredients. The BBI JU project Model2Bio shows that these can be well valorised through an integrated process of extraction and fermentation.
Editorial office / Brussels

In the Model2Bio project, researchers from Celabor, Wageningen University & Research and Ceit looked for a combined valorisation: first extraction of macro- and micronutrients followed by aerobic or anaerobic fermentation of the residual stream. At lab scale, the most promising routes were identified. These were then tested at pilot scale. This shows that it is feasible to process these ingredients into high-quality products, for instance for food ingredients and applications in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics or as biological crop protection:

  • Cheese whey: extraction of protein, followed by aerobic fermentation to yeast oil (a possible alternative to palm oil), or by anaerobic fermentation to volatile fatty acids;
  • Beer marc: extraction of protein, followed by aerobic fermentation to fungal protein;
  • Wine grape pulp: extraction of polyphenols with antioxidant activity, followed by aerobic fermentation into the low-calorie sweetener erythrol;
  • Potato steam peels: extraction of glycoalkaloids (useful as crop protection agents), followed by anaerobic fermentation to volatile fatty acids.

The ultimate goal is to develop a Decision-Support Tool, based on mathematical models to predict agri-food residual streams and to identify best routes for valorising them.

For more information, visit the Model2Bio website.

Image: Cagkan Sayin/Shutterstock