Enzymatic hydrolysis of haemoglobin to form new protein ingredients – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Food Science > Research projects > Ingredient and Dairy Technology > 244.Protein-ingredient

21 December 2015

Enzymatic hydrolysis of haemoglobin to form new protein ingredients

The goal is to improve the use of blood from the production processes of finishers. Research will promote the development of new refined protein ingredients that can be used in foods.

Blood is one of the least utilised by-products in the meat industry, even though it constitutes about 4 percent of an animal's weight. Danish Crown collects about 60,000 tonnes of blood per year of which 70% is suitable for human consumption.

The blood can be separated into two fractions, haemoglobin and plasma. Haemoglobin has great potential as a raw material to produce new ingredients for use in the food industry, as both the protein and organic iron can form the basis for new applications. However, organic iron has a dark colour and a metallic taste, which is undesirable in most foods and it is therefore necessary to separate it from the protein.

The project aims to establish and optimise the process based on the enzymatic hydrolysis of haemoglobin, which separates the protein from the organic iron.

Economic and social impacts

The separation of the protein from the organic iron in haemoglobin is expected to allow the marketing of new ingredient products for human consumption. One of the challenges is to separate the protein from the organic iron in an efficient and economical manner.

The economic impact is deemed significant, since animal haemoglobin at present is primarily used for unprocessed animal feed.

The project will be an important factor in the challenges the slaughterhouse industry has in Denmark due to the added value of the products through the entire value chain from the farmer to the processor. It will help to improve Danish competitiveness, thus preserving Danish workplaces.

Original title: Enzymatisk hydrolyse af hæmoglobin til nye protein ingredienser

Start date:

Janurary 2016

End date:

December 2017

Grant donor:

Pork levy foundation

Food grant: DKK 1,586,000

Total budget: DKK 2,316,000