BIOtechnology for the recovery of valuable peptides from industrial RICE by-products and production of added value ingredients for nutraceuticals, functional foods and cosmetics


About the project

The BIORICE project aims to fill the gap of knowledge of the involved SMEs on rice protein by-product pre-treatment, peptide isolation and relative bioactivity and safety testing. In particular, BIORICE research activities will produce added value bioactive ingredients (semi-purified digestates and small molecular weight peptides) starting from protein by-products contained in the processing water of the rice starch production stream.

The protein by-products will be pre-treated via biotechnological approaches (enzymatic proteolysis, microbial treatments) and different small molecular weight (< 15 kDa) peptides will be isolated by means of innovative eco-sustainable and not degrading techniques. A new method for in vitro evaluation of the skin sensitization potency will be developed so that the products will be tested without using laboratory animals.


  1. Bioconvert into value added compounds the rice protein by-products present in the starch production processing water.
  2. Establish innovative, not disruptive, industry-driven and eco-sustainable protocols (short-path molecular distillation and/or advanced membrane filtration) to purify and obtain new peptide ingredients.
  3. Establish a wide range of in vitro and cell-based tests to characterize the bioactivity and an innovative protocol to test safety (skin sensitization potency by human reconstructed epidermis containing Langherans cells) of the new products.
  4. Open the possibility for all the involved SMEs to improve their competitiveness against direct competitors by accessing new markets throughout the introduction of innovative ingredients, obtained via biotechnological and natural processes, having new and/or improved bioactivity, and consequently increase their financial turnover and benefit.

The project results are expected to have a significant impact on the competitiveness of SME Participants that will be able to expand their business by adding to their product range new bioactive ingredients and protocols enabling new product formulations applicable in food, cosmetic and nutraceuticals sectors.

Project Coordinator: Prof. Annalisa Tassoni
Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna
Dept. of Biological Geological and Environmental Sciences
Telephone: +39 051 2091278

Project Management Team:
Alessandra Baccigotti
Cristina Brecciaroli

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