The Objectives

The specific scientific and technical objectives and indicators of OPTIBIOCAT are:

•   An inventory of novel fully characterised recombinant FAEs and GEs:

- 50 novel esterases from fungi
- 500 novel esterases from bacteria
- 25 rationally designed mutants
- 20 best directed evolved mutants

•   Optimised biocatalysts based on FAEs and GEs for production of the aforementioned biologically active compounds in the rigors of the industrial environment, exhibiting:

- Higher operational stability: recyclability for at least ten fold cycles
- Higher thermo-resistance and resistance to solvents: at least 3-fold increased half-life at 50°C and at least 3-fold increased half-life in the detergentless microemulsion solvents (hexane, n- and t-butanol)
- Higher yield: up to the theoretical yield of 100% for phenolic fatty esters and 80% for phenolic sugar esters
- Higher productivity: up to 1 g/l/h productivity for the synthesis of alkyl hydroxycinnamates and 0.5 g/l/h for the synthesis of sugar hydroxycinnamates.

•   The six main targeted biological active compounds -prenyl ferulate, prenyl caffeate, 5-O-(trans-feruloyl)-arabinofuranose, glyceryl ferulate, benzyl D-glucuronate and prenyl-Dglucuronate – fully characterised for their antioxidant activity and exhibiting an increase of 1.5-2 fold of the antioxidant activity and an improvement of hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity:

•   A library of 60 novel compounds belonging to the classes of phenolic fatty esters and phenolic sugar esters fully characterised for their antioxidant activity

•   Schemes of reactions for biotechnological production of these compounds based on FAEs and GEs, characterised by

- Lower temperature (50-60°C) than that of the chemical process
(160 °C)
- Fewer steps (one step) than the chemical process
- No production of unwanted side reactions causing darkening and formation of odors produced in the chemical process
- Synthesis of one product instead of a mixture of esters
- No need of removal of by-product and catalyst residues in order to produce clean and high quality substances with the potential use in the cosmetics or pharmaceutical industry.

•   Scale-up of production of at least four FAEs- and GEs- biocatalysts beyond 1L to 20 L with an expression level in the g/L scale.

•   Four new chemical entities (leads) for the cosmetic industry

•   Techno-economic viability of the developed OPTIBIOCAT processes, within their supply/value chain and applying life cycle thinking (LCA), with demonstration of a significant improvement of the economic efficiency and environmental performance of existing and future biorefineries:

 - More cost-effective production due to at least: 40% reduction of investment cost (CAPEX); 40% reduction of operating cost (OPEX);
- At least 40% reduction of primary energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions;
- Zero-waste production

•   Enhanced awareness about OPTIBIOCAT biocatalysts, bioconversions and products of among the stakeholders.