Innovarum (Eurizon SL)

Poster Presentation

GreenProtein: hidden resource in beet leaves, the making of the proteins of the future

Focus area / active in:
  • Food, feed & nutrition
  • Green economy, circular economy, circular bioeconomy
  • vegetable protein
  • rubisco
  • bioeconomy
  • circular economy

GreenProtein is an innovative project that aims to produce high-added value proteins and other ingredients from underutilised agri-food industry vegetable waste streams. Particularly, the aim is to extract and purify food-grade, fully functioning, RuBisCO protein on an industrial scale using discards from the sugar beet processing industry. RuBisCO is a protein found in all green vegetables that represent around 50% of the total protein content of green leaves that contains all the essential amino acids. It is highly suitable as a functional ingredient in food with a strong emulsifier, foaming and gelling properties.

The project, funded by the BBI-JU (GA 720728), started on September 2016, gathers 7 partners and it is coordinated by Royal Cosun (The Netherlands).

Thus far, the project has achieved the following objectives:

  1. Developed a biorefinery process for the extraction of Rubisco from sugar beet leaves.
  2. Fine-tuned the biorefinery process to demo scale.
  3. Built and opened of a DEMO plant in Dinteloord (The Netherlands) at the headquarters of Royal Cosun. The Demo plant is currently operative a process 1500 kilos of leaves per hour.
  4. Produced odourless and flavourless rubisco powder. Absence of flavour and taste are key aspects for use for foams, emulsifiers, and binding agents.
  5. Efficiently used RuBisCo powder (leaf protein isolate) to cook a series of bakery products, similar in texture and flavour to their counterparts that use egg whites.
  6. Developed a Life Cycle Assessment on the environmental performance of the system of RuBisCO protein extraction and isolation from sugar beet leaves. Ultimately, the project seeks to demonstrate a completely new value chain leading to higher added value products (such as ice creams, bakery products like merengues or meat substitutes) for new markets and improve the environmental performance and cost-efficiency of resulting products as compared to the state of the art benchmarks.

More information on the development of the project available at

Get in touch with the author!


Irene Paredes
Innovarum (Eurizon SL)

Africa Pardavila
Innovarum (Eurizon SL)

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