Food Grade Protein Production Technology Maximizes the Value of Biofuel Side Streams
Product News May 25, 2009
The Biomine division of Upfront Chromatography A/S has introduced Rhobust® EBA, a protein isolation platform that enables mining for food grade proteins from biofuel side streams. The process allows combined production of biofuels and high value food protein products and is based on Upfront’s proprietary Expanded Bed Adsorption (EBA) technology.
“Biofuel side streams may contain more value in their protein content than the biofuel itself ” – says Allan Lihme, Technical Director of Upfront. “The proteins in the raw materials, or the biomass produced along with the biofuel, may be upgraded to food grade products of even higher value than the main product. The capabilities of our separation technology are selectivity and high productivity.
Unlike classical protein separation methods our technology enables separation of the soluble protein part from all other non-protein components including lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, colors, off-flavors and even toxic components, such as aflatoxins - in a cost-efficient and robust manner”.
Many oil seeds are particularly rich in highly soluble and functional proteins. Rhobust® EBA technology isolates the soluble proteins from crops such as rapeseed and soybean in the range 25 – 100 gram pure protein per kg seeds. As food ingredients, these functional proteins have a market value in the range of 5 to 10 Euros per kg and the low additional cost of producing the proteins generates attractive profit margins.
Since the Rhobust® EBA process is very selective the desired high quality proteins may be produced free of undesirable contaminants such as anti-nutritional factors i.e. the trypsin inhibitors. Thus the currently used harsh inactivation procedures to remove inhibitor activity, such as heat treatment are not necessary. The cake remaining after functional, soluble protein extraction still has value for animal feed.
Rhobust® EBA from Upfront has already demonstrated its potential for the protein food ingredient industries in installations of industrial-size columns with annual production capacity of more than 1,000 MT of functional food-grade proteins. The world demand for food grade proteins and supplements is growing rapidly. The range of proteins that can be isolated by Rhobust® EBA is extremely diverse and includes plant and animal proteins as well as proteins from algae, yeast and other microorganisms.
Integration of Rhobust® EBA in a biofuel plant can mitigate the food vs. fuel controversy faced by biofuel manufacturers and creates new types of value-added products in the biorefineries of the future.
“We are open for a dialogue with biofuel producers and we see a clear potential for increasing the profitability of biofuel plants by mining the side streams with our unique protein production technology” – says Karsten Lindved, CEO.