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Cellular proteins: a sustainable source of food proteins

The goal of this project is to investigate sustainable production chains for cellular proteins based on the interrelationship between growth conditions, downstream processing and functionality for a set of selected microorganisms, including microalgae, bacteria, fungi and yeast.

For each organism, three major focus areas will be studied: cultivation conditions, downstream processing, and structure-function relationships. For a subset of samples food application trials will be performed with a focus on dairy and meat analogues. In parallel to the technology development, potential supply chain bottlenecks will be addressed. Techno-economic analyses will be used to prioritize processing routes and application directions. Consumer research will be used to understand the market potential of whole biomass compared to refined fractions. A sustainability analysis will further support prioritization of specific processing routes to maximize impact, while prioritizing consumer demands.

Overall, this project will deliver insight into the applicability, sustainability and feasibility of using microbial biomass, and/or fractions thereof, as functional protein rich ingredients in food applications.

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