A UK company is searching for ‘greener’ methods for processing plant matter. They are likely to come from health or personal care fields but will be applied to producing food ingredients. Close to market solutions are preferred but early stage technologies will be regarded, under financing, licensing, technical cooperation or commercial agreements with technical assistance.
An established international ingredients manufacturer (represented by its English office in this matter) supplies the food industry with a range of oils/fats and proteins. The production of these ingredients can require extensive processing, high energy consumption, and the use of large quantities of organic solvents (e.g. hexane), all of which provide environmental risks. The food industry and its supply chain currently faces the dual challenge of moving to more sustainable sources (requiring alternative sources of oils/fats and proteins that can provide similar yield/quality to products such as palm oil), whilst finding ‘greener’ methods of processing that don’t require the use of organic solvents and capital intensive processes. This shift to sustainable farming and processing is being increasingly demanded by more knowledgeable consumers keen to protect the environment. The manufacturer now seeks innovative partners to enable this change.
The company is interested to connect with start-ups and established companies with expertise in the sustainable and/or solvent-free processing of plant-based raw materials that could enable the future production of oils/fats and proteins suitable for the food industry. Solutions from companies processing high value/difficult to extract compounds for the health/personal care industries, that can be scaled for the food industry are of particular interest.
The type of cooperation will depend on the stage of development and may include financing, licensing, technical cooperation or commercial agreement with technical assistance. The former three will likely apply to technologies that need to be developed further, that are not in a fully mature state. A commercial agreement with technical assistance may suit a case where the method is ready for adoption. The partner needs to provide technical assistance in that case to aid the technology transfer into food ingredient manufacturing.
A proof of concept at pilot scale needs to exist with the potential for production scale within 5 years (>100s of tons). The manufacturer has international processing operations and routes to market so as to commercialise relevant technologies.
- Type of partner sought: Technical solutions could include:
• Technology to assist extraction and refining e.g. microwave, ultrasound, supercritical fluid, high-pressure, pulsed electric field, enzymes, etc.;
• Processes utilising green solvents e.g. water, carbon dioxide, ionic liquids, etc.;
• Technologies that reduce/replace the use of fossil fuel-derived chemicals (e.g. in solvent production) and fuels (e.g. raw material processing);
• Solutions that don’t require high CAPEX/large footprint to allow processing sites close to raw material.
- Specific area of activity of the partner: Type of partner sought: industry and research or technical centres.
Specific area of activity of partner: research into and/or commercial activity using extraction, purification, refining of plant material with mild sustainable methods.
Role of partner sought: interested parties are invited to send a non-confidential description of their processing solution and its stage of development.
The potential partner should be looking to collaborate under financing, licensing, technical cooperation or commercial agreements with technical assistance.