New disruptive process for omega-3 enrichment in fish oil

  • 08/05/2023

In the Biocatalytic Oil Cleavage (BOC) case of the MACBETH project, the aim is to transfer the idea of a catalytic membrane reactor (CMR) to the field of biotechnology. This challenging task comes along with another novelty: the introduction of a liquid phase reaction to the CMR technology. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, the field of application changed multiple times in the beginning of the project.

In the end, the omega-3 enrichment was chosen because the current process requires several process operations to get to the same product as with a single step of the technology to be developed in the MACBETH project. The interlocking of selective enzyme catalysis and membrane technology allows for a new disruptive process for the enrichment of omega-3 in fish oil under mild conditions, requiring less space and energy consumption.

The proof of concept was demonstrated successfully in lab scale by Enzymicals in Germany and the VITO institute in Belgium. Further up-scaling as well as process optimization was conducted in the following months mainly by ChiralVision in the Netherlands. Thanks to the experience and cross-fertilization activities with the partners of the MACBETH consortium, major milestones were achieved in very short amount of time. At the moment, the TRL 6 demo plant is under construction at Microinnova in Austria.

In the following months, robustness and stability tests of the process will be first conducted at the site of Enzymicals and later in an industrial environment at Solutex in Spain.