The CHIC project aims to develop the technology behind its research for business purposes. As part of the project’s work, researchers are developing an exploitation strategy that’s built on two strong business cases for NPBT chicory-based dietary fibre and bioactive terpenes.
Improved inulin and terpene fractions are subjected to in vitro bioactivity studies. Safety evaluation and business cases for both lines are moving forward. Two types of NPBT chicory mutants have been generated and analysed, one type of mutations targeted to inulin breakdown genes and the other for germacrene synthase A.
The functionality of NPBT chicory lines were assessed in gut fermentation model, which measures the gas formation during the fermentation. These studies showed slightly lower gas formation in NPBT chicory compared to WT (wild type) chicory. Typical chicory sesquiterpene lactones (STLs) and chicory extracts have been studied for their bioactive potential, and interesting antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory activities have been reported. The results have recently been published.
Remarkably, the chicory extracts showed activity against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and they also showed higher antibiofilm activity against the yeast Candida albicans than standard STLs. For commercial inulin processes, technical and economic feasibility showed efficiency for two different processes to yield both inulin and terpenes. The price of terpenes was calculated for both processes and they were shown to be competitive.
Check out Work Package 8 video –
Work Package Leader
Dr. Suvi Häkkinen, WP8 Coordinator
Commercial Exploitation of Chicory as a Multipurpose Crop