Project Sustainable Plant Fractionation

Projectnummer
LWV20297

Missie
D. Gewaardeerd, gezond en veilig voedsel

MMIP primair
D4. Duurzame en veilige verwerking

MMIP secundair

Startdatum project
01-01-2021

Einddatum project
31-12-2026

Projectleider
Remko Boom

Website

Status project

Samenvatting project
Our food supply will transition towards a more comprehensive use of food crops. Current ways of extracting plant-based ingredients from crops are quite intensive in their use of energy and chemicals, do not have very high yields, and negatively impact the quality that was originally present in the plant tissues. Gentle processing offers solutions to this, and by using dry or gentle hybrid dry-wet separations, it is possible to have higher yields and simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 90% over the whole chain. At the same time, the fractions created still contain much more fibre and micronutrients, which may enable us to produce foods that fit better in a healthy diet. The plant-based ingredients obtained by gentle processing may show improved technical as well as nutritional functionality, which will enlarge their field of application. This potential however depends on solving a number of issues. (1) Mild fractionation techniques generally involve no or no significant heating. Therefore, food safety is not automatically ensured. (2) Antinutritional factors such as phytic acid, lectins, alkaloids but also persistent oligosaccharides may compromise health. This needs to be assessed, and routes to mitigation have to be set up. (3) While we expect that mildly refined ingredients will enhance our digestive health, this has yet to be shown. (4) Mildly refined ingredients have different properties, and therefore their techno-functionality and product development have to be explored. While mild and dry processing is not new, this project is the first that takes a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach, by combining the expertise of eight different disciplines. Together with four industrial partners, eight academic groups, a contract research organisation and a university for applied sciences, we will investigate the fractionation and conversion of the ingredients, the techno-functionality of the ingredients in complete foods, and the toxicological and nutritional aspects and benefits of these new types of ingredients.

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