ALEHOOP, valorisation of macroalgal residual biomass and legume processing by-products

ALEHOOP is a project that focuses on finding a sustainable and cheap solution for the valorisation of residual biomass from macroalgae and by-products of leguminous processing, obtaining new value chains.

ALEHOOP will demonstrate, on a pilot scale, that the process of recovering proteins, from plant biomass, at low cost in biorefineries is sustainable and cheap. The proteins obtained will be used in the food sector and in the manufacture of animal feed.

In food and animal feed sectors, consumers are demanding functional and affordable natural proteins from sources other than conventional ones. Moreover, the industry is demanding protein formulations of biological origin, which can be produced at low cost and with better environmental performance.

ALEHOOP project provides a sustainable and cheap solution for the recovery of biofunctional and technological proteins. The current sources of these proteins are soy, cereals or potatoes (mainly imported into Europe and environmentally unsustainable). The scarcity of this kind of resources in Europe, whose availability does not meet the demands of the region, forces the search for new sources of protein, which have not been exploited until now.

In this project, the main objectives are; (1) taking advantage of the remains from botanical origin materials processing (legumes) and residual macroalgae as feedstock, which can provide demanded proteins in an eco-friendlier way. Green and brown macroalgae will be collected in Rias Baixas (Spain) and Norway, respectively. By‑products generated after the processing of legumes will also be harvested in Spain. Both raw materials will be sourced from the region, which will boost the local economy and has the potential to reduce imports of currently used raw materials; (2) optimising the processing of algal biomass in biorefinery, in order to increase the protein harvest with respect to other processes at laboratory scale, with specific involvement in terms of quality and quantity. The protein purity of these treatments is thought to reach 60-70%.

Both the optimisation of the process and the recovery of botanical waste, will lead to a significant reduction in the carbon footprint compared to conventional processes (30% less), as well as significant energy savings in the order of 20%. Production costs will also be reduced by around 20% compared to conventional processes.

The project will lead to the development of two new products, one based on seaweed (macroalgae) and the other on legumes.

For our part, Contactica will be the coordinator of this project as well as being in charge of the LCA-LCCA and its communication, dissemination and exploitation.

ALEHOOP will last 48 months and will be funded from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (JU). The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Bio Based Industries Consortium

Project partners

The consortium is composed of sixteen partners from six different countries. CONTACTICA S.L. (Project coordinator) (Spain), ISANATUR SPAIN S.L. (Spain), BIOZOON (Germany), BIOSURYA (Spain), CENTIV (Germany), GARLAN (Spain), ALGINOR (Norway), NUTRITION SCIENCE (Belgium), INDUKERN (Spain), EV-ILVO (Belgium), ANFACO-CECOPESCA (Spain), FUNDACION TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION (Spain), TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY DUBLIN (Irland), Universidad de Cádiz (Spain), VETERINARY RESEARCH INSTITUTE (Czech Republic) y Universidad de Vigo (Spain).

For more information

CONTACTICA S.L. (Coordinator):

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