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SuNuP - Optimization of the microorganism fermentation and drying conditions for the production of dry and active sourdoughs, starters and probiotics


Units : BioControl (Biosystems Modeling and Control) | ULB820

Description :

Research context

The goal of the SuNuP project is to understand the mechanisms involved in microorganism resistance to drying through an
analytical integrated approach: from the lab-scale cultures in mini-bioreactors to pilot scale drying. Funded by Wagralim, the agri-food
innovation cluster in Wallonia region, the project consortium is made of 

- 3 academic partners:

o 3BIO-BioControl –Biosystems Modeling and Control lab at Université libre de Bruxelles (modeling, identification, state
estimation and optimization of biological cultures)
o TIPs –Transfers, Interfaces and Processes lab at Université libre de Bruxelles (characterization and modeling of phenomena
involved in drying processes)
o MiPI –Microbial Processes and Interactions lab at Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (single-cell analysis of microbial populations and
bioreactor cultures)

- 2 industrial partners:

o Vésale Pharma (microorganism encapsulation and probiotic production)
o Puratos (yeast and sourdough fermentation) –project coordinator


The main objectives at 3BIO-BioControl will be to
- build dynamical models of mono-and co-cultures of lactic acid bacteria and/or yeast for predicting, as a function of the
operating conditions (especially the bioreactor feeding), microorganism growth, substrate consumption, metabolite production and stress
protectant accumulation (for yeast);
- provide mathematical modeling and analysis of the interaction/competition mechanisms in the case of co-cultures of lactic acid
bacteria and yeast;
- determine, based on the dynamical models, the optimal operating conditions for maximizing the microorganism growth rate and,
in the case of yeast cultures, for maximizing the accumulation of stress protectants;
- build   software   sensors (state estimators) for   the   online   monitoring   of   the   stress   protectant accumulation in

List of persons in charge :

  • BOGAERTS Philippe

  • Sbârciog Mihaela Iuliana

List of lessors :

  • Région wallonne