SMART Cymru supports a collaboration between Pennotec and Bangor University in the development of food-safe preservatives from mushroom trimmings.
Pennotec is seeking to become a producer and exporter of a range of high-quality natural and food-safe preservatives to meet increasing consumer demand.
Stalks and trimmings are therefore an unavoidable by-product of mushroom production, with mushroom farmers disposing of tens of tonnes of trimmings and associated compost every week. Fungi are a sustainable source of chitosans – natural fibres with anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties that are produced globally in multi-thousand tonne quantities from crustacean shells.
A collaboration between Pennotec (Pennog Ltd) and the BioComposites Centre and the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (Bangor University) aims to research environmentally sustainable methods for the preparation of high quality, food grade chitosans from mushroom trimmings. Through the application of sophisticated analytical techniques and expertise available at Bangor University, the Pennotec team aim to determine whether their bio-refining techniques can produce chitosans that are free of traces of compost.
If successful, this project could bring new products to the market, increasing productivity and help to reduce economic and environmental costs. It is anticipated that two new jobs will be created to support the process scale-up.
Pennog Ltd (trading as Pennotec) has been established as an R&D-led company in Gwynedd since 2014. They specialise in the development of environmentally sustainable processes for the manufacture of chitosans and co-products from food manufacturing by-product streams.