Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

ACTICAPS Report Summary

Project ID: 696601

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ACTICAPS (Actiwhey based microencapsulation solution for sustainable food manufacturing)

Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Overuse of antibiotics in meat production causes human antimicrobial resistance, diseases and gut related disorders, leading to 1.2m life-threatening hospital infections and 19,000 deaths from MRSA-bacteria each year. The best solution is sustainable antibiotic free food production, improved food safety and nutrition value, wider use of probiotics and increased functional foods production.

Companies like Bon Appétit, Tyson Foods, Smithfield, McDonalds, etc. are voluntarily banning antibiotics treated food products. To meet this trend and EU regulations, new cost-effective technologies for processing delicate substances and active ingredients are needed in EU.

Uniq Bioresearch has developed and patented ACTIWHEY® microencapsulation technology that addresses these challenges and provides market leading nutritional efficiency; extended shelf-life, increased food safety and countless new opportunities for food, feed and nutraceuticals manufacturers.

ACTICAPS project aims to 1) reduce the microencapsulation costs by 91%; 2) achieve 70% fill-coating ratio; 3) improve controlled release and other key advantages; 4) set up pilot production for market validation and dissemination; 5) create a scale-up package, incl. process planning strategy, production manuals and licencing concept; 6) validate the innovation in 3 market segments with most potential for fast market uptake.

This project is an integral part of our long-term development roadmap. Our market uptake potential is based on 11+ years of R&D and business success; established key customer base; validated patented technology, experienced team and detailed feasibility study for identifying the best business and commercialisation strategy.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The first period of the project has concentrated on finalising the laboratory development, planning the pilot production and starting widespread commercialisation among selected partners and clients.

By the interim reporting time, we have completed laboratory work with test batches to achieve the best fill-coating ratio, stable and strong coating and easy optimization of controlled release. We have tested the market-leading microencapsulation solution in small pilot scale to ensure the validity of the technology in bigger scale production. Also, we have improved the whey protein activation process for large scale production.

The produced pilot line designs will be put to practice in the second year of the project when the technology will be implemented in 1-2 production units in Finland (Eevia Ltd.) and The Netherlands (VitaSquare Ltd.). During purchase of equipment, the plans will be updated and more detailed installation plans will be prepared.
Besides forming partnerships for pilots with potential clients, we have disseminated our technology and company in several events and through new marketing materials. As a key event, we visited the Vitafoods Europe Exhibition in May 2016 in Geneva and introduced our microencapsulation technology to 22 selected companies.

We have also started the development of the Licencing Concept ahead of the planned schedule.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

So far, the project progress has achieved the following impacts:
• Achieved 2-times better fill-coating ratio of the microcapsules compared to closest competitors
• Validated microencapsulation process for a) powder-form substances (tested with Reishi extract); b) living organisims (tested with anaerobic probiotic bacteria Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12) and c) oils (tested with rape seed oil).
• The improved microencapsulation and whey activation technologies were validated at small and medium scale and have proved to be very easily scalable for full production
• Detailed technology set-up and implementation plans together with draft licensing concept enable fast scale-up of the technology globally
• Our dissemination activities have introduced Uniq Bioresearch and our ACTICAPS project among targeted industries and as a result, we have already formed several very promising partnership deals and contacts with potential clients

Also, by the interim reporting time, we have finished the laboratory development tasks of our unique solution and as a result are ready to launch a microencapsulation technology that:
• enables feed and food companies to produce natural and safe products that lead to healthier food
• includes 3-times more antioxidants, which will improve users health, and
• adds extra functionalities to commercial products like controlled substance release through multi-wall capsule
• enables sustainable production by utilisation of dairy industry side-products/wastes and 20-30% reduced need for heat and energy for encapsulation
• extends shelf-life of encapsulated products by better preservation of sensitive oils, probiotics and other substances, leading to improved food safety, reduced food taints and off-flavours
• improves feed, food and nutraceuticals industry products by added functionalities and health promoting ingredients and improved taste, smell and texture of the products
• enables high variety of capsule sizes (adjustable from 0.5-3.0um and 5.0-20.0um) and application possibilities (suitable for different substances and products)

In terms of the ACTICAPS project, the successful delivery of the first year tasks enables us to continue with validating the technology in a large scale pilot, patenting the new processes and achieving wider market recognition by the end of the project period.

Related information

Record Number: 196383 / Last updated on: 2017-03-29
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