Prospare: PROgress in Saving Proteins And Recovering Energy^

The project has aimed at showing how to obtain and characterise value added peptide mixtures, starting from different raw materials, and ultimately how to make them available to industry for further larger scale processing. Such peptide mixtures can be exploited in the food, feed and green chemicals (cosmetic and microbiological sector) chains.

In addition, also raw fat materials can be obtained and suitably transformed in biofuels. In short the project has indicated how to build a technology platform for multi-purpose processing of animal by-products, flexible enough to be tailored to different industrial sectors needs.

Four key added values of this technology platform can be summarized:

  • Utilization – unmarketable animal residues (non-valuable meat and poultry processing intermediates) are subjected to conversion processes based on technological innovations and biocatalytic approach with further scaling up to the pilot level;
  • Value – unmarketable animal residues are converted into peptide hydrolysates of high food and feed value, while the accompanying fat and tallow will be exploited for renewable energy and soap&organic chemicals production;
  • Functionality – through technological innovations a range of products  is obtained with programmed functional properties and sensory characteristics, which should meet consumer expectation while satisfying a wide range of objective and subjective requirements (taste, aroma, rheology, balanced amino acid composition, digestibility, controlled content of bioactive peptides, absence of abnormal or poorly metabolized compounds, low allergenicity, high antioxidant capacity, etc.).
  • Safety – a panel of standard and developed methods have been applied along the whole technological chain to ensure end-product safety.

The PROSPARE consortium has envisaged targeting the following main strategic objectives endorsed by its Steering Committee:

  • to design non waste technologies for processing unmarketable animal residues, by means of technological equipment innovations and more efficient biocatalytic conversion processes based on new enzyme compositions, leading to marketable end-products, with programmed nutritional properties, and biofuels;
  • to develop a range of complementary low-cost techniques for monitoring microbial contamination and novel tracing tools for mycotoxins detection;
  • to insure that the safety of developed food ingredients complies to EC and RF regulations;
  • to study functional properties of newly produced food ingredients(hydrolysates) by using standard and newly developed assay methods;
  • to develop end products and food additives with specific functional properties using protein hydrolysates with programmed characteristics;
  • to convert laboratory results into larger scale pilot demonstration plants;
  • to widen the current knowledge based on techniques for bioconversion of animal by-products into new target products - biofuel and high quality food and feed so to pave the road for an increased exploitation of animal residues and therefore the conservation of natural resources while decreasing environmental pollution;
  • to develop a technology platform for economically sustainable and environmentally sound multi-purpose processing of animal by-products, in particular poultry ones, aiming at giving birth to a new generation of food ingredients with designed properties for different industrial sectors.

The originality of PROSPARE lies in the exploitation of unmarketable animal residues based on efficient bioconversion technological methods and biocatalysts (enzyme and/or enzymatic compositions), with subsidiary very hi-rate production of renewable energy and biologically valuable substances. 
Taking into consideration increased consumers demands as well as applicable legislations, the new processing technologies should meet broad (EU, RF) requirements of food safety while being economically sustainable.

The interdisciplinary character of the investigation is clearly demonstrated by the parallel application of biotechnological, chemical, biophysical, physico-chemical, biochemical, immunological and toxicological studies, as well as the industrial trials for the evaluation of proposed technologies.

The innovative aspects of PROSPARE include the individual objectives achieved through the workpackages where high edge modern techniques are applied, and integrated into a comprehensive bioconversion platform for industrial exploitation.