Enhancement of the added value from oilseed processing remnants

Based on a market analysis and on selected laboratory experiments the economy of utilization of oilseed processing remnants should be improved. Product suggestions resulting from the market analysis will be analysed for their technical feasibility by laboratory tests and a synopsis of both developed.

Short Description




Sales of rapeseed press cake (RPC) as animal feed is seen to be of low profit as market value is comparable low regarding additional earnings for rapeseed oil producing companies. Thus, RPC manufacturing businesses are looking for alternatives promising higher value products. More recently, extraction and independent commercialization of proteins derived from RPCs as a by-product of rapeseed oil extraction seems to be more economically viable than commercialization of fuels or organic fertilizers.

Here we elucidate the viability of the production and commercialization of RPC derived proteins in the context of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Underlying a two-stage approach, we first surveyed and evaluated different processes for protein extraction of RPC. By doing so, we focused on finding procedures with ease of operation features without com-promising adequate selectivity of protein extraction. During the second phase of the project, market conditions for RPC derived proteins and other alternatives for the utilization of RPC were investigated on the basis of literature research and market analysis.

Of particular interest of this project was the survey of an innovative procedure for enzyme and fungi-mediated protein extraction in aqueous solution at room temperature, allowing for a gentle treatment by maintaining the functional state of the proteins. A technical feasibility study was followed by optimizing extraction yields of this new procedure on a lab-scale basis. A different procedure resulting in the partial separation of hulls and nitrogen-free organic components from the proteins, and more importantly the concentration of the proteins themselves, was subject to further investigation.

The findings of the market analysis showed that at present, the market is dominated by soya-derived proteins. Even though few businesses dealing with RPC derived proteins are currently present on the market since more than 10 years, they did not yet achieve any major success. Market entry, for SMEs in particular, is afflicted with safeguarding intellectual property rights, approval of audits, and finding access to the market; and more importantly bares high economic risks as time to market in process development is long and exhaustive. Noteworthy, we like to highlight that pushing the commercialization of RPC derived proteins is only recommended when sufficient venture capital is provided, particularly concerning the present situation on the financial market.

By all means, the specialization of SMEs on further utilization of GMO-free RPC is seen to be a market niche, in particular for organic-certified businesses within the Austrian regulatory context. Moreover, conducting a separation step in order to remove hulls residues further up-stream of the press process provides additional incentives for businesses as it results in high-quality animal feed.

Project Partners

Walter Serro
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

Project collaborator

Dr. Helmut Markus Knoflacher, Dr. Alexander Kaufmann, Doz. Dr. Joseph Strauss, DI. Dragana Bandian
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

Project or cooperation partner

  • Rapson

Contact Address

Austrian Research Centers GmbH - ARC
Walter Serro
Donau-City-Straße 1
1220 Wien
E-Mail: walter.serro@arcs.ac.at
Tel.: +43 (0) 50550 - 3427
Web: www.arcs.ac.at