Project No. Source of funding: European Regional Development Fund Specific Objective 1.1.1 “Improve research and innovation capacity and the ability of Latvian research institutions to attract external funding, by investing in human capital and infrastructure” measure “Support for applied research”. Project application selection round No.2. Project partners: LSC “Biotehniskais Centrs”, Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry Project period: 01.04.2019. – 31.03.2022. (36 months) Project costs: 648 000 EUR (374 544 EUR from EU as ERDF funding) Project Leader: Professor, Egils Stalidzāns, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Objective: to establish a bioprocess of syntrophic co-cultivation of two microorganisms

(Crypthecodinium cohnii and Zymomonas mobilis) at laboratory prototype level for

bioconversion of renewables (molasses, the byproduct of sugar industry, and glycerol,

byproduct of biodiesel production) into valuable vegetarian (produced by microorganisms)

docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from omega 3 fatty acid family.

Summary: Knowledge-based bioeconomy implies conversion of cheap renewable resources

into biotechnological products with added value. Current project aims at production of a highly

valuable infant food and vegetarian food additive and a healthy food supplement omega 3

fatty acid from industrial byproducts - molasses and glycerol. Molasses is a byproduct of sugar

industry, while raw glycerol is byproduct of biodiesel production. Both are industries with

massive and constantly increasing turnover. The target product of the proposed bioprocess

is one of the omega 3 fatty acid family – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

DHA is essential for health of infants and adults. Its market growth is about 10% annually

and is expected to reach 240 thousand metric tons in 2020. 96% of DHA currently is produced

from fish. Although the quality of microbiologically produced DHA is higher (without specific

odor or taste, especially important for infant food), it is more expensive so far. The growing

market and high costs of DHA requires new solutions, addressed by this project: design of

advanced, high-yielding microbial bioproceses, based on cheap renewable substrates, instead

of extracting DHA from a limited resource – marine fish oil.

The project will deliver a laboratory prototype (TRL4) of DHA production, including newly

developed co-cultivation bioreactor, and a model-based control system of production.