SP.20.006 – Deep Eutectic Solvents as green extraction solution for marine polysaccharides for food applications

Route: Sustainable production of safe and healthy food

Cluster question: 017 How can we make chemical and biochemical production processes more sustainable, more efficient, and cleaner?

Currently, conventional methods with the use of harsh solvents is the most used procedure in industrial scale for polysaccharides extraction. Although it’s a well-established procedure, it has many disadvantages; polysaccharides such as carrageenan are the only product, the extraction time is long with high energy and water consumption, the alcohol precipitation and recovery are costly with negative environmental impact, acids and bases can cause degradation of the targeted polysaccharides. The new developed techniques such as Ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE), microwave assisted extraction (MAE), enzyme assisted extraction (EAE), homogenization and supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) were proposed as a solution but they still present many disadvantages: low yield, high costs, product degradation and the difficulties to scale up. In this project, an innovative and environmental-friendly technique using deep eutectic solvents (DESs) will be developed for polysaccharides extraction and protein recovery from the microalgae Tetraselmis striata and the macroalgae Kappaphycus alvarezii. The project will focus on the optimization and development of the process by knowing and controlling molecular basis details. Therefore, polysaccharides (PS) from both algae will be characterized before and after extraction. DESs physical properties will be characterized as well, for a better understanding of the interaction DES-PS and its impact on the final product. DES regeneration with the possibility of additional protein extraction will be taken into consideration. The project will evaluate the techno-functional properties of the extracted polysaccharides and proteins. A techno-economic evaluation of the optimal process will be provided at the end.


Biorefinery, Deep eutectic solvents, macroalgae, microalgae, polysaccharides, proteins


Organisation Wageningen University (WUR)
Name Prof.dr. R.H. (Rene) Wijffels
E-mail rene.wijffels@wur.nl
Website https://www.wur.nl/bpe/