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Fungal Production Systems Utilizing D-Galacturonic Acid-rich agricultural Residues

Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), we seek to find new solutions for the supply of bio-based chemicals from renewable ressources – exploiting the expertise of our consortium members in Biological as well as in Bioprocess Engineering. Targeting agricultural waste streams from the fruits and vegetables industry, we avoid competition for food-grade materials while at the same time adding an innovative value-added step to the overall resource cascade. Our renewable target ressources are rich in pectin and hence serve as an ideal resource for a variety of D-galacturonic acid derived chemicals with applications in food, cosmetics and beyond.

PRO-SUGAR: Fungal Production Systems Utilizing D-Galacturonic Acid-rich agricultural Residues

The waste streams of interest for the PRO-SUGAR project are those rich in the plant cell wall component pectin. As such, residual organic material from juice and vegetable processing industries, such as apple pomace or sugar beet pulp, are of special interest in this project. Prior to its bioconversion to industrially relevant polyhydroxy acids, D-galacturonic acid, the main sugar component of these biomasses, has to be extracted via enzymatic depolymerization. The polyhydroxy acids generated from galacturonic acid share key structural characteristics of conventionally produced acidifiers, stabilizers and leavening agents found in cosmetics and food applications today and have the additional potential to introduce new functional properties. Due to their environmentally friendly method of production from renewable resources, they furthermore generate additional ecological benefits.