Technical proteins and their applications

Light-coloured liquid on film

Proteins for biobased technical products

Secondary materials and waste materials from the food and agricultural industries often contain large concentrations of hitherto unused technofunctional proteins. We develop special extraction and isolation processes in order to recover these protein fractions. The functionalities of the proteins can be customized via judicious process management. We can also modify the recovered protein fractions under gentle processing conditions in order to tailor their properties. For this we use wet chemical, enzymatic, and physical methods. We will gladly help you develop suitable product formulations in order to guarantee optimal application of the functional proteins. Pre-industrial developments and prototype production runs can be carried out on a small pilot scale up to 2 m³.

Increase the sustainability of your biobased products! Replace crude oil based components!

Our services in the field of technical proteins

Raw material selection and analysis

We have an in-depth knowledge of proteins to help you select the best raw material for your application. Raw materials can be characterized in detail using our analytical facilities.

Customized protein functionality

The protein functionality can be tailored for the target product via the following processing steps:

  • Recovery process
  • Fractionation method
  • Modification steps

Sample production of protein fractions

Our small pilot plant facilities of up to 2 m³ are able to manufacture product samples for you.

Incorporation of plant proteins into biobased technical products

We help you incorporate plant proteins into your technical products. We also evaluate any interactions with other components.

Proteins for technical applications

Proteins are effective oxygen barriers. Depending on the recovery and processing steps they also have emulsifying, foam-forming, film-forming, gelling, adhesive, or wetting properties. These various functionalities mean that proteins have enormous potential for technical products.

The properties of technical proteins can be utilized in many products to replace crude oil based components or synthetic components.
For example:

  • in laminated packaging materials
    as a barrier layer

  • in adhesives and paper coatings
    as a binder

  • in water-based lubricants
    as a friction reducing agent

  • in lacquers and paints
    for weathering protection

  • in washing and cleaning products
    as a natural surfactant

We are continuously researching technical proteins

Powder and liquid in Erlenmeyer flasks

In order to avoid competition with the food and animal feed industries, we primarily utilize secondary and waste materials from agriculture that are unsuitable for consumption. For example, we use press cake from plant oil production that contains high concentrations of unpalatable bitter substances.

The protein functionality is modified by judicious processing. One example is modification of the spatial structure of the protein molecules by increasing the temperature. If the protein is recovered above the denaturation temperature then it has a globular structure, whilst below the denaturation temperature the protein has a linear amino acid structure. This can be utilized depending on the given target application of the protein.


Modification and analysis of proteins

Influencing protein properties

by enzymatic, chemical and physical processes,

for example:

  • the molecular weight of the protein
  • the nature of the protein surface (e.g. hydrophobization for use in non-polar media)
  • the crosslinking and film forming properties of the protein
  • the emulsifying properties and surfactant action
  • the dissolution behavior with respect to other media components

Analysis of the obtained proteins and developed formulations

using the following methods:

  • Measurement of the protein solubility according to Morr
  • Determination of the molecular weight distribution
  • Measurement of the viscosity of formulations
  • Measurement of the tribological properties
  • Determination of the film-forming properties
  • Measurement of the stability of subsequent formulations
  • Measurement of the surface energy

We also evaluate interactions with other components of formulations.