Process improvement to enable economic production of prebiotics and demonstration of efficacy in feeding trials (PIPP)

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  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council: £194,262.84

Funder Project Reference(s)

Effective start/end date01 Mar 201730 Nov 2018


Grass is a readily available feedstock for the production of prebiotics, a market worth $1.4 Billion. Grass juice fructans, converted to short chain molecules (SCM) by hydrolases, show prebiotic activity greater than commercial comparators (assessed using an artificial gut system). Market take-up is hampered by production cost and demonstration in animal systems. In this project the hydrolases will be cloned into a bacterium. This will greatly improve process economics and avoid the major cost of expensive enzymes. The SCMs produced will be used as feed supplements in mice trials. The prebiotic activity of these molecules will be assessed by examination of the mice microbiome using next generation sequencing. Additionally, economic viability, market opportunities, regulatory issues and supply chain logistics will also be determined ensuring a likely take-up of this technology in the market place.