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Integrated cascades of PROcesses for the extraction and valorisation of proteins and bioactive molecules from Legumes, Fungi and Coffee agro-industrial side streams.

Agro-industrial residual biomass, side streams and food production by-products like legumes, fungi and coffee are potential sources of valuable ingredients even though the routes for their exploitation are still at an early stage. Pursuing the ambition of achieving prolific valorization of untapped biomass streams, the project R&D&I activities and partners of Prolific have been positioned around a central innovation cycle that is mainly driven by industrial end-users who exactly know the needs of their customers and the technical constraints and industrial environment in their respective sector. The Prolific project will apply a range of processing technologies to recover significant amounts of proteins/peptides and other value-added compounds (e.g. carotenoids, phenols, caffeine and fibers) from industrial processing residues of legumes (seeds of peas, beans and chickpea), fungi (cuttings and mycelia of different species) and coffee (silver skin residue and not compliant roasted seeds). The economically and environmentally sustainable extraction, enzymatic modification, and conditioning techniques will be upscaled in industrially relevant environment. This will enable the production of consequent amounts of compounds and fractions necessary for the production of 16 product prototypes for the food, feed, packaging and cosmetic sectors.

The Prolific project will assess the environmental, societal, ethical, safety, and regulatory issues at each step of the targeted value chains. SME and large companies strive at achieving competitive biomass exploitation and attracting when needed additional investors. The industrial partners business strategies for the future market penetration starts with the clear identification of the customer needs and goes up to the preparation of give-aways of food and cosmetics prototyped products as a reward for filling in questionnaires about the Prolific products along with intensive dissemination and communication.

PROLIFIC is coordinated by P.F.-X. Corvini. FHNW develops immobilized/protected proteases to produce bio-active peptides. FHNW also evaluates the content in heavy metals in the proteic fractions and evaluate the eco-efficiency of the developed technologies (LCA, CEA, etc.).

Key Figures

Project duration: 2018 – 2022
Funding agency:
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (GA 311776).


Prof. Dr. Philippe Corvini
Prof. Dr. Philippe Corvini Group Leader and Lecturer, Environmental Biotechnology
Telephone : +41 61 228 54 85 (direct)
Rita Hochstrat
Rita Hochstrat Research Associate
Telephone : +41 61 228 56 87 (direct)

Immobilized/Protected Proteases

Prof. Dr. Patrick Shahgaldian
Prof. Dr. Patrick Shahgaldian team leader in molecular nanotechnology
Telephone : +41 61 228 54 87 (direct)

Heavy metals

Dr. Markus Lenz
Dr. Markus Lenz Senior Researcher
Telephone : +41 61 228 56 86 (direct)


Dr. Emmanuel Oertlé

Institute for Ecopreneurship

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland School of Life Sciences, Institute for Ecopreneurship Hofackerstrasse 30 CH - 4132 Muttenz
More information about the location