Valorisation of fermentation biomass as plant biostimulant

Valorisation of fermentation biomass as plant biostimulant


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






Within this project we investigate the feasibility of using fermentation waste streams as biostimulants. This way companies that produce food ingredients with fermentation technology and companies that market biostimulants can extract extra value from fermentation processes. Hereby, the fermentation waste is upcycled. Potential outcomes of this project include knowledge about composition of fermentation waste streams and a new source of biostimulants and new biostimulant products.

Doel van het project

To investigate the composition of fermentation waste streams and if this waste can be used as biostimulant. In addition, influence the byproducts that are formed during the fermentation processes. These activities contributes to the upcycling of the fermentation waste and provides multiple uses for the substrates used in fermentation processes that produce high-value molecules.

Relatie met missie (Motivatie)

Many ingredients for food and flavor products are produced using fermentation technology. Microbes like bacteria and yeasts convert low-value substrates to high-value products. After the high-value products are removed a fermentation waste stream remains. Companies active in this area are experiencing a period of steep growth resulting in increased availability of fermentation waste that is usually discarded using the sewage system. There are indications that these fermentation waste streams may be useful in agriculture. Especially in horticulture, many crops are increasingly exposed to stresses like drought, high temperatures and salt stress. These stresses all relate to climate change. Therefore, biostimulants, usually extracts of biological materials, are used to strengthen or increase robustness of crops, making them more resilient to stress caused by drought, heat, and salts. At the moment fermentation waste streams are rarely used as biostimulant while there are clear indications of their biostimulant properties. Therefore, investigating the biostimulant properties of fermentation waste represents a clear opportunity for upcycling this waste stream.

Geplande acties

In the first year of this project the fermentation waste is fractionated and composition of these fractions is analysed. This information is used to assess the waste for the presence of known biostimulants and side products. Fractions will be assessed for generic biostimulant properties on seeds and plants. Methodology to influence low-value side products will be set up. In the second year fractions containing molecules with a known biostimulant activity will be further fractionated. The methodology to influence low-value side products will be evaluated. Every quarter results are reported to the industrial partners.