Microbial fatty acid

Microbial fatty acid

Organisatie-onderdeel

WR-cap AF

Projectcode

AF16156

MMIP

Landbouw, Water, Voedsel>A. Kringlooplandbouw>A3. Hergebruik organische zij- en reststromen

Startdatum

01/01/17

Einddatum

31/12/20

Samenvatting

In the coming decades, the global population will increase to 9 billion, and the livestock that we keep for our nutrition will rise, concomitantly. In the same time, the quality of the food that we consume, and the feed that we serve our livestock, will also improve by the use of quality ingredients such as plant-based edible oils. The sourcing of these edible oils from plants as palm is already under pressure because of its huge impact on the environment with respect to land and water use and replacement of natural vegetation and will no longer be sustainable in the near and more distant future. Within this PPP project, the industrial partners Unilever R&D, BaseClear, and Aveve (now: Aveve Biochem/Avestris), together with WFBR will address this problem by developing microbial platforms for the production of these edible oils. The use of microorganisms would decouple oil-production from above mentioned issued, but also offer the possibility to valorize agri-food side streams by microbial conversion, i.e. fermentations. Two research lines will be followed; 1. The use of natural oil-producing microorganisms such as the yeast Cryptococcus curvatus, Yarrowia lipolytica, the fungus Mortirella or the microalgae for production of edible oils on cheap, and readily available waste- and side streams from the food industry ; and 2. The modification of yeast and microalgae to produce tailor-made fatty acids with desired length and saturation level. This project fully aligns with three Roadmaps of the Topsector AgriFood, to develop more advanced products (tailor-made fatty acids), to improve nutrition & health (plant-based unsaturated fatty acids) and stimulate Biobased Economy by sustainable production through microbial fermentation and growth of microalgae, as alternative for production of current edible oils.

Doel van het project

Two research lines will be followed; 1. The use of natural oil-producing microorganisms such as the yeast Cryptococcus curvatus, Yarrowia lipolytica, the fungus Mortirella or the microalgae for production of edible oils on cheap, and readily available waste- and side streams from the food industry ; and 2. The modification of yeast and microalgae to produce tailor-made fatty acids with desired length and saturation level. This project fully aligns with three Roadmaps of the Topsector AgriFood, to develop more advanced products (tailor-made fatty acids), to improve nutrition & health (plant-based unsaturated fatty acids) and stimulate the Biobased/Circular Economy by sustainable production through microbial fermentation and growth of microalgae, as alternative for production of current edible oils.

Relatie met missie (Motivatie)

Microbial oil can serve as alternative for palm oil in both, food and non-food applications. This property increases the sustainability of oil production and reduces the negative impact of palm oil production on the environment with respect to land-use, pollution and deforestation. The use of microorganisms does not require land use and is not bound to specific areas. In addition, microorganism have the capability to use agri-food side streams as substrate for biomass and oil production. In this manner, side streams will be valorized to oil, which can be applied again in food and/or feed applications as well as starting compounds of biobased sustainable chemical compounds. The combination of supplying alternatives for palm oil and the use of side stream will result in increased sustainability and circularity of food ingredient and feed production.

Geplande acties

This projects intends to obtain knowledge on the application of fermentation for oil production in combination with the development of metabolic engineering tools to enable tailor-made oil production. Therefore, two separate work packages are defined:
WP1 focuses on the use of oleaginous yeast strain with respect to their capability to accumulate high amounts of lipids. This knowledge will be applied for the conversion of agri-food side streams in value-added microbial oils. WP2 will focus on the possibilities to steer the fatty acid composition towards the desired fatty acids. In order to achieve this fermentation technology can be applied, but main aspect will be the genetic engineering of oil-accumulating microorganisms by CRISPR-Cas technologies. CRISPR-Cas technology has the opportunity to be classified as non-GMO (at start of the project in 2017), which would unlock many doors for the use of microorganisms in food and feed industries. Partner meetings are held every three months either live (or digital) and a summary report will be written at the end of the project including the (high throughput) screening methods.

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