Recent advances in rapeseed meal as alternative feedstock for industrial biotechnology

Phavit Wongsirichota, Maria Gonzalez Miquel, James Winterburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rapeseed meal (RSM) have high potential as an important alternative feedstock in industrial biotechnology. Recently, the pace of development for RSM processing and fermentation have increased significantly. A wide variety of pretreatment and hydrolysis methods have been developed for media production; including fungal pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, acidic hydrolysis, autohydrolysis as well as microwave.
Meanwhile, RSM has been applied to a wide variety of fungal, bacterial and microalgal fermentation schemes including, solid-state, semi-solid-state and submerged fermentation. As a result, a myriad of products has been derived from RSM, including enzymes, antimicrobials, bioactive compounds, platform chemicals, biosurfactants and biopolymers. The role of RSM within these fermentation schemes has also evolved, from providing a simple matrix for solid state fermentation, to being the main source for nitrogen, micronutrients and carbon.
RSM is also promising due to potential economic and environmental advantages that could be gained from its use in integrated biorefining. This may include fermentation of other rapeseed-derived by-product streams such as glycerol or rapeseed straw, the fractionation of RSM to produce additional high-value products including protein isolates and phenolic extracts, as well as process integration with existing rapeseed oil refining or biodiesel production .
Quantification of economic and environmental benefits of using RSM over purified substrates will need to be conducted in the future, via technoeconomic and life cycle analysis. Other knowledge gaps such as the feeding of RSM-derived media, improving process performance, scale-up related challenges also will need to be addressed. This will be crucial for the realization of RSM’s potential in industrial biotechnology and may provide insights for development and commercialization of alternative feedstocks in general.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiochemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Feb 2022


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