Advanced Tailored OLigosaccharides (ATOL)

This project focuses on the production and use of tailored oligosaccharides. Depending on their structure, oligosaccharides are known for their interesting bio-active properties such as prebiotic activity, anti-oxidant, anti-hypertensive, anticoagulant agent, plant elicitors, … They can be used in food industry (stabilizer, thickener), pharmaceuticals (absorbing & gelling agent, excipient), medical devices, personal care industry (creams, lotions), cardboard and paper industries. Additionally, oligosaccharides can be grafted onto surfaces or used as tunable polar structure in biological, biodegradable and/or biocompatible dispersants.
The current industrial partners will focus their efforts on the development of feed additives and dispersants.

Diverse renewable resources rich in polysaccharides, e.g. pectins, chitin, alginates, carrageenans, agars, (arabino)xylan, starch, etc, can all be used as resource for tailored oligosaccharides. Alternatively, oligosaccharides can also be synthesized from monosaccharides. The main goals & challenges of this project are to identify which chemical identities (length, sugar composition, substitution) give the desired and most performant functional properties and how to produce & purify them efficiently and uniquely. The desired result is a new value chain starting with locally available (poly)saccharides, a local conversion plant and end users to formulate the specialty oligo- and/or (side stream) monosaccharides in different applications. All target applications will be determined by the industrial partners.