Value chains

From biomass to high-value nutritional & functional bio-compounds & ingredients: valorising side-streams is a sustainable and tech-based challenge, generatic economic values

I4CE focused on the generation of nutritional and functional ingredients & food additives

Nutritional ingredients bring basic nutrition building blocks into the food products (Proteins, lipids, fibers, carbohydrates & sugar, sodium, minerals & vitamins). Functional ingredients are bioactive compounds used to manufacture functional food products (Food & beverage which provide an extra health benefit to the consumer beyond basic nutrition requirements).

Food additives contributes to influence taste & flavor, texture, freshness, appearance & color, and acts as technical agent (Foaming, antifoaming, gelling, glazing, acid regulation, emulsifying, thikening, humecting, sequestrant, stabilizing, etc).

Sourcing valuable biomass

 Bio-based products & crops are derived from materials of biological origins, renewable & biodegradable by nature, holder of numerous functional attributes, destinated to numerous food (and non-food) usages. They are produced out of agriculture, livestock, forestry, weeds & herbs, fruits & legumes, aquatic biotopes, and microbiological ecosystems. The main source of biomass remains agricultural crops, such as wheat, maize/corn, sugar beet, sugarcane, flex, sunflower, oats, peas, rice, etc but also fruits & legumes (Beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc), natural medicinal herbs and alternative crops (Valeriane, Lupin, etc). Last but not least, mushrooms are a trending ingredient providing interesting alternative proteins.

Aquatic biomass (Micro-algae and Seaweeds, aquatic plants, fish & seafood) is taking a growing role in food ingredients production, especially micro-algae like Spirulina and Chlorella (already authorized for food applications), and in non-food applications, such as mussels shells as reused biomass in bio-material for example.

Valorising Side streams

Organic waste (agricultural & food) constitutes another significant portion of biodegradable material for transformation into bio-based products. 

 All food industry sectors are concerned,with a special mention to beer industry, potatoes transformation, tomatoes transformation, fruit juices production, where secondary wastes are well valorised (beer spent grain, orange peels, potatoes peels, eggshells, just to name a few).

It’s a tech world

Several key-technologies are used across the (new) product (ingredient) development process, ranging from the (usually green-/eco-) extraction stage – to obtain bioactive compounds from plant, algae & microbial sources – to the formulation and stabilization stage, leading to its integration into the industrial process and incorporation into the finished food products, including biotechnology pathways.

New emerging value-chains

The mapping of the I4CE ecosystem demonstrates the high diversity of applications & use-cases, potentially feeding new innovative & circular value-chains, from bio-based products & crops, side-streams, aquatic biomass and microbial strains to bio-active-compounds & ingredients (nutritional & functional), and finally finished b2c and b2b food & non-food products.

Proteins and alternative proteins, fibres, antioxydants, cultured meat, probiotics, natural additives, enzymes, vitamins, …. for food & drink markets, personalized nutrition markets, nutraceuticals market, pet food and cosmetics markets.

High nutritional quality ingredients can indeed be extracted from oilseed flax seeds, egg shells, tomato’s co-products, potatoes peels, brewers mashed & spent grain, water lentils, sweet lupins, insects, cultured fat, and other vegetable by-products. The sky is the limit.