Sustainable generation of high value triterpenes using Schizochytrium sp. and organic side-streams from food and sea food industries


Funding bodies: BioProMare, BMBF
Project partners: TS2B GmbH & Co. KG, Leibniz-Universität Hannover, Institut für Lebensmittelchemie
Project volume: 1.227.200 €
Timeframe: 02/2020 – approx. 02/2023

Natural triterpene compounds find a wide range of use in cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Applications start from moisturizing skin cream, via antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antitumoral to hepatoprotective or tumor therapeutic preparations. However, the conventional processes to produce these products are based on the unsustainable, destructive exploitation of marine resources (fish oil, shark liver oil) and fossil raw materials or inefficient agriculture that competes with food crops. The consortium Sus-Terpene, consisting of two SMEs and two academic partners, intends to develop a novel, highly efficient platform technology for the production of the triterpenes squalene, oleanolic acid and ursolic acid in the marine microalga Schizochytrium sp.. In order to achieve this goal, Sus-Terpene will combine the development of the bioprocess with an environmentally friendly downstream technology. To enhance the sustainability of the process, material cycles will be closed through the implementation of recycling and energy recovery processes for organic waste- and side-streams. Special focus is placed on the use of raw materials of marine origin, e.g. macroalgae and mushroom biomass, marine debris and by-products derived from the processing of marine foods. Overall the project intends to exploit knowledge of partners out of scientific institutes and companies to develop an efficient, eco-friendly and economic process for the production of triterpenes.

The Focus of CREM within this project is located in the energy recovery from extraction residues, marine and fungal biomass. This is realized by the development and optimization of a biotechnological fermentation process to produce combustible hydrogen and biomethane out of the named substrates.