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Método económico y ecológico de encapsulación de enzimas y microorganismos para mejorar procesos de producción biológicos en las industrias de productos lácteos, azúcar y aditivos alimentarios


Oferta Tecnológica
Una empresa checa ha desarrollado un método de encapsulación de cualquier biomaterial para mejorar procesos biotecnológicos dirigidos por enzimas o microbios en la industria alimentaria. La encapsulación ofrece importantes ventajas económicas y en términos de rendimiento. Se trata de un proceso suave que permite utilizar diferentes materiales, ya que no se aplican altas temperaturas ni se utilizan productos químicos tóxicos ni peligrosos. Se buscan productores de alimentos interesados en mejorar procesos biológicos a un coste asequible y establecer acuerdos de cooperación técnica.


Economic and ecological method for encapsulation of enzymes and microorganisms to intensify bio-based production processes in the dairy, sugar and food additives industries.
The Czech company has developed a proprietary method of encapsulation of any biomaterial usable in the intensification of enzyme- or microbe-driven biotechnological processes in food industry. Unlike the use of free biomaterial, encapsulation provides significant economical and performance benefits. The company seeks food producers who want to intensify bio-based processes at reasonable cost based on technical cooperation agreement.
The company has many years of experience and know-how in the implementation of its proprietary technology in industrial applications both at home and abroad and has also established multiple collaborations with leading European research institutions. Historically the most mature applications have been in the wastewater treatment business and the company has built several full-scale plants.

Currently, the company is focusing also on the food industry where there are huge opportunities for the application of their proprietary technology in biocatalytic processes.

Free or encapsulated biomaterial?
Although the use of biomaterial in free form provides certain benefits, the benefits of encapsulation are incomparable. This is why the Czech company has developed its own method of encapsulation thereby enabling the reduction of costs associated with the purchase, production and recycling over extended periods of time. The method also delivers significant reduction in costs for so-called "downstream processes", such as biomass separation from the reaction media, waste management and disposal, etc.

PVA matrix
The Biocatalyst is composed of a hydrogel matrix that allows diffusion of media toward the entrapped biomaterial where it is reacted upon by the catalytic biomass. The reaction products are then freely released.

The technology uses a porous inert polymer - PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) matrix for the encapsulation or immobilization of biocatalytic material (enzymes or whole microorganisms). PVA displays superb mechanical and physical characteristics and coupled with low biodegradability it provides long-term stability.

Economy and efficiency
The unique lentil-like shape of the biocatalyst ensures maximum surface area and minimum volume so that diffusion limitations associated with the transport of substrates into the particle and products out of the particle are significantly reduced. In addition, because of its size (3-5 mm), the biocatalysts can be easily separated from the reaction medium and also easily adapted to existing production pipelines.

The most widespread method for PVA immobilization includes a freezing step which takes approx. 1-2 days at -20 °C. The novel method reduces the step to just 1-2 hours.

The proprietary process does not require specific bond-formation between the matrix molecules and the enzyme molecules, so usually there is no need to pre-treat the enzymes.

The biocatalysts provided are quite elastic and demonstrate high mechanical stability and high abrasion resistance during continuous use over several years.

It is possible to encapsulate various forms of biomass, e.g. - broth from fermentation, enriched broth with live cells, live cell cultures, live cell paste, killed-cell pellets, crude cell extracts, protein mixtures of varying purities and purified enzymes.

Whether used in current or novel food production processes, the technology leads to substantial increases in productivity and process yields as well as significant reduction in operational and/or investment costs

Risk of contamination is minimized because of the high reaction rate due to the high concentrations of biomass inside the PVA matrix.

Nature friendly
The technology helps to reduce environmental footprint through reduced waste production and lower energy consumption.
The process of encapsulation is very gentle leading to a higher biomass survival rate and very little wastage of biomass.
The Biocatalyst is a hydrogel, i.e. its water content is around 80 %. After its depletion, the biocatalyst is usually dried and can be incinerated without posing any ecological threats or having any negative influence on the environment

For applications of the technology in the food technology industry, please see "additional comments" section.

The company seeks food producers who want to intensify bio-based processes at reasonable cost based on technical cooperation agreement.
Advantages and Innovations:
· The process is very gentle - a wide range of input material can be used as neither high temperature nor toxic/harmful chemicals are applied
· The key step in the encapsulation process is drastically reduced from 1-2 days to 1-2 hours
· Easy to separate - the catalyst is 3-5mm in diameter so it is simple to filter it out
· Very high abrasion resistance because the Biocatalyst is a hydrogel - it results in more efficient exploitation of the biomass because of little or no damage
· Very high level of mechanical stability of the matrix - several years of continuous operation possible (whole-cell biocatalysts)
· Growth and reaction phases can be separated
· High concentration of bio-catalytic material ensures shorter reaction times, and lower operational costs
· Nature friendly - disposal can be by regular incineration without toxic/harmful residues
· Large installed manufacturing capacity - up to 100 tons of biocatalyst per year
Stage of Development:
Already on the market
Secret know-how

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The company seeks producers of food and feed applications (ingredients, additives, flavour and fragrance molecules) who want to intensify bio-based processes at reasonable costs based on Technical cooperation agreement.


Type and Size of Client:
Industry SME 11-49
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
08001002 Aditivos / ingredientes alimentarios / alimentos funcionales
08001005 Tecnología de alimentos
06002003 Tecnología de enzimas
08001001 Tecnologías para bebidas