The FP7 KBBE BacHBerry project (“BACterial Hosts for production of Bioactive phenolics from bERRY fruits”) started in November 2013 and ended in October 2016.
It was coordinated by Jochen Förster, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (CFB), Copenhagen, Danemark.
The main objective of BacHBerry was to develop innovative methodologies for tapping the commercial potential of plant metabolites, namely phenolic compounds in berry fruits, overcoming current scientific and technological barriers in the field of bio-industry, for the generation of bacterial platforms for sustainable, bio-based production of the desired plant metabolites.
Plants synthesize a staggering variety of secondary metabolites, and this chemodiversity is a poorly used pool of natural molecules with bioactive properties of importance for applications in the pharma and food industries. BacHBerry focused on phenolic compounds, a large and diverse class of plant metabolites, which are currently in the spotlight due to their claimed beneficial effects in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, but that also have applications as cosmetics, flavours and food colorants etc. Berries are soft and colourful fruits, with great diversity, high content and unique profiles in phenolic compounds, making them a major source of these high-value metabolites. The BacHBerry project aimed to develop a portfolio of sustainable methodologies to mine the potential of the untapped biodiversity of the bioactive phenolic compounds in an extensive collection of berry species. Full exploitation of this unrivalled natural resource requires an integrated and comprehensive effort from bioprospecting in berries using SMART high-throughput screens for the valorisation of phenolic bioactivities aligned with their identification using cutting edge analytics and subsequent elucidation of their biosynthetic pathways. This knowledge will facilitate metabolic engineering of suitable bacterial hosts for high-value phenolics production in scalable fermentation bioprocesses, ultimately serving as commercial production platforms. The consortium comprised a full chain of research and innovation, with 12 research groups, 5 SMEs and a large enterprise, representing 10 countries including partners from ICPC countries Russia, Chile and China, with the capacity to exploit novel bioactivities from berry fruits diversity. BacHBerry developed a pipeline of sustainable and cost-effective processes to facilitate production of added-value berry phenolics with immediate potential for commercialisation and consequent socio-economic benefits for the European community and beyond.
For more information on BacHBerry, see http://www.bachberry.eu/.