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    Gergely Kosa

Bioconversion of low-cost fat materials into high-value PUFA-Carotenoid-rich biomass

The project aims at upgrading Norwegian animal slaughter fat by-products to high-value fatty acids by fungal fermentation processes.


Norwegian Research Council - BIONÆR

Project number: 268305
Period covered - start date: 01.01.2016
Period covered - end date: 31.12.2019
Project's coordinator: Achim Kohler  

Project partners:
Brno University of Technology - Faculty of Chemistry
Slovak University of Technology - Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology
Norilia AS
International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS AS)


Due to an increasing focus on heathy diets and low-fat products, huge amounts of animal fat by-products are processed annually by fat processors and renderers. Most of the produced fat products are used for energy consumption. To add value to these products, the LipoFungi project will develop innovative technology for upgrading Norwegian animal slaughter fat by-products by fungal fermentation processes. It will develop technology for conversion of animal fat materials into high-value lipids and carotenoids-rich fungal biomass for animal feed.

In a pilot study, we have shown that oleaginous fungi from the phylum Zygomycetes can convert saturated fatty acids from animal fat by-products containing triacylglycerols (SAT-TAGs), into polyunsaturated fatty acids containing triacylglycerols (PUFA-TAGs). Large parts of the produced fat by-products produced in Norway and Europe today are either edible fat, which fits for human consumption or so-called Category 3 fat, which is suitable for animal feed. Therefore, depending on the type of fat by-product, high-value fatty acids produced from Category 3 or edible fat rest materials can be used for either feed or for human consumption. The project addresses the most central biological and technological research challenges for developing a sustainable process for lipid upgrading from animal rest fat. It suggests research for developing fermentation technology for submerged and solid-state fermentation, process optimization and upscaling. The project will evaluate the final product and perform a preliminary economic evaluation of the process. The project will make use of the NordBioLab infrastructure facilities at NMBU and constitutes a multi-disciplinary and cross-institutional collaboration involving all competencies required for such a complex goal.




Szotkowski M., Byrtusova D., Haronikova A., Vysoka M., Rapta M., Shapaval V., Marova I.
Study of Metabolic Adaptation of Red Yeasts to Waste Animal Fat Substrate.
Microorganisms 7 (2019) 578.

Kosa G., Vuoristo K., Horn S.J., Zimmermann B., Afseth N.K., Kohler A., Shapaval V.
Assessment of the scalability of a microtiter plate system for screening of oleaginous microorganisms.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 102 (2018) 4915.

Kosa G., Zimmermann B., Kohler A., Ekeberg D., Afseth N.K., Mounier J., Shapaval V.
High-throughput screening of Mucoromycota fungi for production of low- and high value lipids.
Biotechnology for Biofuels 11:66 (2018)

Vanek M., Mravec F., Szotkowski M., Byrtusova D., Haronikova A., Certik M., Shapaval V., Marova I.
Fluorescence lifetime imaging of red yeast Cystofilobasidium capitatum during growth.
The EuroBiotech Journal 2 (2018) 114.

Kosa G., Shapaval V., Kohler A., Zimmermann B.
FTIR spectroscopy as a unified method for simultaneous analysis of intra- and extracellular metabolites in high-throughput screening of microbial bioprocesses.
Microbial Cell Factories 16:195 (2017).

Marova I., Rapta M., Vanek M., Haronikova A., Szotkowski M., Shapaval V.
Use of high-throughput techniques to study simultaneous production of lipid metabolites in carotenogenic yeasts grown on waste animal fat.
Journal of Biotechnology 256 (2017) 42.

Marova I., Szotkowski M., Vanek M., Rapta M., Byrrtusova D., Mikheichyk N., Haronikova A., Certik M., Shapaval V.
Utilization of animal fat waste as carbon source by carotenogenic yeasts – a screening study.
The EuroBiotech Journal 1 (2017) 310.

Published 2. June 2018 - 15:27 - Updated 4. May 2020 - 11:17