Microheme (Microbial production of heme)
Microbial biomass is arguably the highest potential future sustainable protein source. Yet these protein sources are hardly developed. This project aims to take a first step toward introducing fermentative biomass as an accepted component of meat alternatives by focusing on microbial production of a unique, high-added-value component.
• It will establish microbial biomass as cost-effective and sustainably produced novel protein source for human consumption
• It will establish natural, non-GMO microorganisms as source for heme-containing proteins that are essential for the desired appearance, texture and flavour of meat-analogues
• It will develop microbial biomass as novel and promising source of high-value food components for inclusion in meat-alternatives
• It will focus on sustainable production of these high-value proteins and derivatives by producing the microbial protein on the basis of AgriFood sidestreams
This project takes the first step toward valorising microbial biomass into high quality meat alternatives by providing microbial heme to improve appearance, texture and flavour of meat analogues. A set of food-approved, heme-containing microorganisms have already been selected. These will be grown other various growth conditions and their heme-containing proteins will be isolated and compared for its composition of the heme-group and for colour, flavour, and texture improvement in plant-based meat-alternatives. For the most applicable heme-containing microorganism, optimal cultivation conditions will be developed for maximal heme-production, when possible based on low-cost AgriFood waste streams.
- Determine heme-content of various micro-organisms under various production regimes (finished 12-2021)
- Determine method for isolation of the heme-proteins in the various micro-organisms (Finished 02-2022)
- Establish stability of these heme-proteins (preliminary data available, planned for Q3, 2022)
- Investigate contribution to the sensorial profile of the various heme-proteins (planned Q4, 2022)
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