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PROLIFIC to transform waste of Legume, Mushroom & Coffee into useful Products

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

A huge amount of organic residues and related effluents are produced every year through the food processing industries like juice, chips, meat, confectionary, and fruit industries. These organic residues can be utilized for different energy sources. As the population increases continuously, the requirement of food and their uses also increased. So, in most of the countries, different industries of food and beverage have increased remarkably in that region for fulfillment of need of food. 

To transform waste from legumes, mushrooms and coffee into new food products, animal feeds, packaging materials and even cosmetics PROLIFIC is a new European research project with the partnership of 17 partners from 8 European countries. The aim is to produce 16 prototypes of products for the food sectors (vegan / vegetarian, cereal-based, meat-based products), feed (for poultry and pigs), bioactive packaging (for food and cosmetics), and cosmetics. 

Agricultural residues are rich in bioactive compounds. These residues can be used as an alternate source for the production of different products like biogas, biofuel, mushroom, and tempeh as the raw material in various researches and industries. The use of agro-industrial wastes as raw materials can help to reduce the production cost and also reduce the pollution load from the environment. Agro-industrial wastes are used for manufacturing of biofuels, enzymes, vitamins, antioxidants, animal feed, antibiotics, and other chemicals through solid state fermentation (SSF). A variety of microorganisms are used for the production of these valuable products through SSF processes. Therefore, SSF and their effect on the formation of value-added products are reviewed and discussed. 

The project is financed with over €4.5 million from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking, a public-private partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), an organization that connects large and small/medium enterprises, research institutions, universities and public and private bodies at European level involved in the development of the circular bio-economy. 

The partners involved will work to develop technological and industrial solutions for the recovery of proteins and other bioactive molecules (such as fibres and polyphenols) from the processing waste of the agro-food industry, in particular the production of legumes, mushrooms and coffee.  

Most of the Asian and African countries used different fermented foods as a part of their diet regularly. Different forms of activated oxygen like free and non-free radicals such as superoxide anion radicals (O2−), hydroxyl radicals (OH) and H2O2 and singled oxygen (O2), respectively, reported that these can lead oxidative injury to living organisms. So, these species produced a significant part in numerous diseases such as cancer, emphysema, atherosclerosis, and arthritis SSF has been mainly employed from ancient time for processing of foods, but nowadays it is gaining a lot of attention due to the increasing use of different types of organic wastes and the larger production of value-added products. 

The search for sustainable and green processes for bioconversion of organic wastes into valuable products could substitute non-renewable materials and also transform chemical processes into cleaner practices in the industrial sector that highlights the potential of SSF. The particular interest of SSF is due to its relatively simple process that uses abundant low-cost biomaterials with minimal or no pre-treatment for bioconversion, less waste water generation, and the capacity for simulating similar micro-environments, favorable to microorganism growth. Further, SSF has opened a new paradigm of bioconversion of organic solid wastes through the production of biologically active metabolites both at the lab and industrial scale. The application of SSF in the production of different bio-products has been widely reported including enzymes, organic acids, biofertilizers, biopesticides, biosurfactants, bioethanol, aroma compounds, animal feed, pigments, vitamins, and antibiotics. Similarly, SSF simulates natural microbiological processes such as composting and ensiling. Therefore, solid state fermentation and their effect on the formation of value-added products by this process are reviewed and discussed. 

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