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The World's first vegetal chitosan biostimulant from non-GMO and renewable source on an industrial scale

Project description

Growing a healthy, sustainable, vegan biostimulant

As the use of chemicals in agriculture is harmful to people’s health and destructive for the environment, a new eco-friendly way to improve the quality and productivity of crops is necessary. The biostimulants sector is looking for new natural methods to stimulate plant growth such as chitosan. The EU-funded KITOGREEN project aims to support the production of a new fungal-derived chitosan instead of its chemical extraction from shellfish. The new technology offers multiple benefits: it reduces the use of fertilisers, it is healthy, reduces CO2 emissions, eliminates allergens, and increases sustainability in agriculture.


The world needs new kinds of organic farming solutions. While there are a wide range of crop performance chemicals available on the market today, there is growing evidence of their harmful environmental and health impacts. Demand for organic food and sustainable agricultural practices is driving demand for new solutions. This has led to the emergence of the biostimulants industry, a broad group of natural ingredients used to enhance crop performance and improve plant growth. Chitosan is one product within the biostimulants market which has proven to have a positive impact on crops and is expected to reach €93million by 2022. However, chitosan currently can only be produced through extracting in chemically from shellfish. This brings about a number of quality and scalability issues related to shrimp fishing. Furthermore, the allergens contained in shellfish-sourced chitosan limit its applicability in the wider agriculture sector and can harm consumers.
Our solution, KitoGreen is an innovative and sustainable fungal-derived chitosan. Our product is unique, patented and sustainable from a vegetal source, which eliminates the quality issues of traditional methods. Due to its non-animal source, KitoGreen has no allergens and can be used to consistently and sustainably produce chitosan with lower CO2 emissions.
Some of the proven benefits of KitoGreen are:
- Increased natural plant growth
- Higher yields for farmers
- Reduce use of fertilizers
- Open up lucrative post-harvest shelf-life extension application which current chitosan can not be used for because of allergen risk
KitoZyme is the manufacturer of KitoGreen. We are a pioneer and global leader in manufacturing biopolymers from fungi. We have expertise and enjoyed success in consumer healthcare and in beverages technology. KitoGreen is our new product for the agriculture industry which we expect to reach nearly €5M in sales and €4M in profits after 5 years of market launch.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Région wallonne Prov. Liège Arr. Liège
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00