Obtaining value-added products from agricultural waste is one of the most relevant key objectives to develop a greener bio-based economy and a future sustainable agricultural framework. This is indeed the objective of LIGNOFOOD project: ingredients for food and beverage industry from a lignocellulosic source. LIGNOFOOD project brings together 5 recognized research organisms and 4 bio-technological SMEs to deal with obtaining xylooligosaccharides (XOS) with the greatest prebiotic potential and xylitol from industrial hemp, an ecological resource of lignocellulosic material. Industrial hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants and responsible of numerous environmental benefits; resistant to pests allowing reduction of agricultural biocides use, positive crop-sequencing effect for other bioenergy crops, and fast crop growth with low husbandry costs. Thus, it is a renewable resource with great potential to obtain ingredients of added value. XOS are non-digestible dietary components that have been recently reported to stimulate growth and/or modify the metabolic activity of beneficial bacteria and improve gut health. On the other hand, xylitol is also of great value because of its low caloric and low glycemic index, and used as sugar substitute. The combination of two production biotechnologies in one integrated process to obtain two products (XOS and xylitol) from a renewable resource is of great interest in terms of cost efficiency and sustainability. Furthermore, the health functionality and safety of the ingredients will be assured, and their addition to food matrices for food product development will be explored according to the sensorial properties and consumer acceptance evaluation to meet the final user/stakeholder preferences and needs. The participating SMEs will be able to exploit the results of these studies for XOS and xylitol commercialization and improve their competitiveness by gaining access to the rapidly growing market of functional foods.
|Effective start/end date||1/10/13 → 30/09/15|
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