VTT: New Protein Separation Method for BSG Developed
19 Feb 2016 --- A new method developed in Finland efficiently separates proteins from agrobiomass by-products – specifically brewer's spent grain (BSG).
According to research by the Technical Research Center of Finland (VTT), extraction with deep eutectic solvents (DESs) offer an efficient, sustainable and easy method for dissolving proteins from agrobiomass by-products.
DESs are mixtures of solids that form a liquid solution at low temperatures when mixed in suitable ratios. A DES incorporates two or more substances with high melting points into a mixture with a melting point substantially lower than any of the individual pure components. A known example of this is the mixture (molar ratio 1:2) of choline chloride (mp 302 °C) and urea (mp 133 °C), which has a melting point of 12 °C. DESs represent a new generation of organic solvents; research into their possible applications only began in recent years.
The method used is simple: DES and solid biomass, such as BSG, are heated and mixed in the reactor for two hours. Finally, water is added into the reactor and the solids separated by filtering. DES molecules, proteins and water are separated through membrane filtering. The protein is then dried, and the end result is a high-quality protein concentrate that could be utilised in, for example, the feeding of pigs or poultry.
The commercialisation of this patented invention is currently being examined. The research results will be published in a scientific journal in 2016.
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