EU Boosts Plant-Based Sector with Bio-Based Solvent Grant for Oil and Protein Extraction

Pennakem Europa, the developer of EcoXtract, a bio-based solvent for the extraction of oils, proteins, and natural ingredients, has been awarded an EU grant to develop EcoXtract for the global oilseeds processing sector.

This will provide a safe and bio-based option for all involved in processing oil-rich seeds such as soybean, rapeseed, sunflower, and the seeds from a large number of minor crops such as borage, hemp, and evening primrose.

The renewable upcycling technology is a 100 percent bio-based solvent made from crop by-products. Solvent-based extraction of vegetable oil is an essential step for many plant-based products, especially for vegetable oil and protein, notes Pennakem Europa. The €2.8 million (US$3.4 million) grant is awarded by the European Commission’s European Innovation Council under the Horizon 2020 Fast Track to Innovation program.

The EU grant will enable the bio-based solvent EcoXtract to be developed for soybeans, rapeseed, and other oilseeds important in plant-based processing.“The grant enables us to combine the technologies, skills, and ambitions of five partners in four European countries,” says Laurence Jacques, managing director at Pennakem Europa.“This allows us to accelerate our technical development and access pioneering markets at the same time to develop a more reliable, healthier, and more eco-conscious oil extraction sector for the food and feed industry.”

This achievement is the result of a proposal submitted by a consortium of five partners. All are private-for-profit entities established within the EU. Along with Pennakem Europa (France), an affiliate of Minafin Group, the consortium comprises Vivaorganic (Cloppenburg, Germany), De Wit Speciality Oils (De Waal, the Netherlands), New Holland Extraction (New Holland, UK), and Donal Murphy-Bokern (Lohne, Germany). The total project investment is almost €4 million (US$4.9 million).



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