Protein-fibre biorefinery for scattered material streams


PROWASTE is an international interdisciplinary project aiming at valorisation of protein-rich side-streams into food and feed grade protein and dietary fiber ingredients. The project supports minimal residue production and circular economy by increasing the profitability of food chain from farm to processing.

Annually, over 15 million tonnes of waste is produced by canola oil and brewing industries in Europe. With simple fractionation method, food grade compounds could be isolated from these and sold to food processing market as a valuable nutrient.

Currently the side-streams are used mostly as feed, offering a reliable and quick way of disposal for otherwise perishable and costly waste. However, this seriously undervalues their potential for value addition. 

PROWASTE combines technologies from previous successful projects to build a  biorefinery concept for valorization of canola press cake, spent barley and oat hulls into protein and dietary fiber ingredients. It also tests the feasibility to use the process for other materials, some sourced from ongoing FACCE projects.

The project develops and pilots fractionation of food side-streams into crude protein and fibre isolates. The technology is based on existing concepts, utilised currently in other food and biocprocessing industries, but not currently applied in biorefinery processing.

Food and feed grade ingredients produced are tested in concept products to guide the process development, and to provide seed ideas for stakeholders.

PROWASTE biorefinery concept development aims at an impact at 3 levels:

1) technical development of robust fractionation methods

2) creation of novel business opportunities for SMEs based on side-streams and

3) increased understanding of utilizability of the side-streams.

This way, PROWASTE biorefinery concept creates food grade ingredients with simple technology, offering a decentralized solution to differing biomasses. By producing only crude isolates, the concept offers sufficient added value at economically viable costs, resulting in reduction in waste and deleterious emissions and increase in profitability of primary processing.

In PROWASTE, societal and ecological challenges are integrated int he project by providing alternatives to the current trend of centralized bioprocessing model requiring huge investments. It thus supports local circulation of nutrients and resilience of local economies.

All in all, the project guides primary production and processing in farms and SMEs towards more sustainable direction, with potential to be used in climate change mitigation and adaptation.


Mr. Oskar Laaksonen 
University of Turku, Finland

Project partners: 

  • University of Turku, Finland  
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V., Germany
  • Myssyfarmi Ltd, Finland
  • Regis Food Technology, Ltd, Poland
  • Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Poland 
  • Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies, Estonia
  • Polarforma Ltd, Finland
  • Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, Germany