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BIVALBI Report Summary

Project ID: 611493
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: Spain

Final Report Summary - BIVALBI (Biotechnologies to Valorise the regional food Biodiversity in Latin America)

BiValBi was a three years FP7 IRSES project coordinated by the University of Vigo aimed at investigating how valorise byproducts, residues and wastes from local varieties of fruit in Europe (EU) and Latin America (LA). BiValBi was focused in the application of different biotechnologies to recovery high added value compounds from fruit wastes. Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila (Mexico), Universidad Nacional de Rosario (Argentina), Embrapa-Río de Janeiro (Brazil) and Universidad Católica de Valparaiso (Chili) were the partners involved in LA. Universidad de Vigo (Spain), The University of Reading (United Kingdom) and Universidade do Minho (Portugal) were the European partners involved.
The global purpose of BiValBi was to identify and characterize local varieties of traditional foods which are produced at large- scale in Latin American (LA) for the valorisation of the large amounts of non-conformity materials and processing wastes through the production of high added-value products using tailor-made combinations of well established, conventional (membrane), bio (enzymatic, fermentation) and nano (encapsulation) technologies to extract ,produce and apply high added value compounds.
Wastes from local varieties of avocado, grape, coffee, pineapple, soya as well as other traditional foods and their manufactured products mainly in Latin America (LA) but also en some regions in Europe were used to obtain enzymes, prebiotics, antioxidants, bioactive peptides, coating polysaccarides among others high added value compounds. Also solutions to improve the quality and safety of food were developed during the project such as the reduction of astringency and acrilamide content and edible coatings for fruit.
In a first stage, an initial screening of the composition of regional relevant foods with low income for local populations (local vegetable and fruits varieties not processed, post-harvest losses, nonconformities, and fruit and vegetable processing wastes) were performed to select the most convenient variety for the production of a particular added-value product. Secondly, the most suitable technologies for each production were selected, the process integration were defined and optimized and the formulation and stabilization of high value molecules designed. Finally, assesment of bioactivities were performed by means of in vitro assays.

Summary description of the project context and objectives

The WP1 was aimed to the identification of local varieties of fruits and vegetables in LA suitable as sources of high added-value products/functional ingredients. The chemical characterization of fresh fruit/vegetables, post-harvest losses, nonconformities, and fruit/vegetables processing wastes, was also an outcome from the WP1. This objective allowed the discrimination of the most suitable variety of each fruit/vegetable as a source of particular added-value biomolecules. Three main families of fruits/vegetables were selected during the execution of the project: oleaginous (e.g. local varieties of avocado), proteingenous (e.g. local varieties of soya beans) and sugar/polysaccharides sources (e.g. pineapple, grape). In the same way four main bioactivities of high value products obtained from the above mentioned raw materials will be studied: antioxidant (from polyphenols, peptides), ACE inhibitory activity –antihypertensive- (e.g. protein hydrolysates), antimicrobial and prebiotic (from sugars/polysaccharides and some peptide extracts). At the same time several process to avoid the formation of toxic compounds (acrylamide), improve the organoleptic properties by reduction of astringency and develop edible and active coatings were studied. WP2 and WP3 were devoted to apply the recovery, extraction and production process and technologies to obtain high added-value products from fruits/vegetables as well as their integration. These aims implied the design and optimization of these processes for the treatment of each fruit including the search for the more suitable operational conditions for each technology used. Solvent and aqueous extraction, separation and purification based on polyelectrolytes, gas aphrons extraction, ohmic heating, enzymes, microorganisms, membranes based processes nanospraydrier wer the technologies used in BiValBi. The integration of these technologies to develop complex or multi-stage valorisation process not existing until now which was also performed. In WP4 scientific and technical problems associated with the scale-up, were studied considering the real condictions into the fruit and vegetable manufacturing industry. Finally, in WP 5 seminars in analytical methods, enzymes, prebiotics, bioactive peptides, polyphenos and encapsulation technologies were executed. In the same way, workshops devoted to avocado, pineapple, coffee and soybean were celebrated in coincidence with attendance to different congress.
The main results obtained in each topic were:

1: Evaluation of novel extraction methodologies of bioactives compunds from agro-industry residues.
• The potential of two extraction techniques (organic solvents and ohmic heating) in the recovery of bioactive compounds from juçara bulk was evaluated. Ohmic heating showed a promising complementary technology to recovery bioactive compounds, reducing the necessity of organic solvents
• Gas hold up and separation capacity of anionic and cationic surfactant, were studied to improve the extraction of total phenolics, total anthocyanins and antioxidant acitivity from the Brazilian pinot noir grape pomace. This technology allowed the concentration of anthocyanins pigment in the gas phase retaining its antioxidant properties. The procedure showed be suitable for scalability
• Polyelectrolites such as alginate, carrageenan, Guar Gum were used for different enzyme purification (i.e. peroxidase, bromelain) from agri-food wastes.
• The potential of chemically modified soybean hull as bioabsorbant for macromolecules was also studied.

2: Production of new high added value compounds from agro-industry residues
• Production and characterization of cellulose nanocrystals (NCC) from grape pomace using a chemical-ultrasonic process was studied. Cellulose was isolated from Pinot noir grape pomace in the winemaking process.
• Production and chemical and biochemical evaluation of bioactive peptides produced by enzymatic hydrolysis of soya meal was also studied.
• The evaluation of nutritional and functional properties of residue soybean flour and fractions of protein hydrolyzates of oil canola from Chile Industry were studied. ACE inhibitory activity, antioxidant activity, antimicrobial activity and prebiotic activity of final extracts were tested.
• Different prebiotics were obtained using diverse technologies. Thus, fructo-oligosaccharides were purified by using glucose oxidase and xylo-oligosaccharides were obtained and characterized from grape pomace through different conventional methods (acid, alkaline and enzymatic extraction).
• Avocado wastes were used to obtain bioactive proteins, polysaccharides and antioxidants.
3: Development of technologies to improve bioactivity, reduce food loses and extend shelflife of fresh fruits
• The nanoencapsulation of bioactive compounds with antioxidant properties from wastes of the avocado agroindustry from Chile (Persea americana. Mill, Avocado) was studied using nanospraydryer. The same technology was used for the nanoencapsulation of Syzygium cumini bioactive compounds.
• The characterization and evaluation of an edible coating of candelilla wax containing an extract of Flourensia cernua to extend the shelf life of apples was studied. Different emulsions were made and their capacity to develop coatings evaluated.
• In the same way, it was studied the reduction of astringency in wine by whey protein complexation with tanninsas well as, the enzymatic treatment of coffee to reduce acrylamide formation during roasting.

The above was carried out by means of an effective mobility program between LA and EU countries. A total of 16 PhD students spent one year each researching in a foreing country. All of them were involved in sandwith thesis model (2 years in house plus one year hosted in other country) raising their degree. Senior mobilities of supervisors of students were perfomed in coincidence with other dutty travels. Finnally, a set of activities such as seminars, transfer and dissemination workshops were organised in coincidence with the most important Congress in Food wastes and Biotechnology in Spain, United Kingdom and Mexico.

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Life Sciences
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