Induction of secondary metabolites in tomato by-products for extraction and economic evaluation of the model process

Acronym: InducTomE

(BOOST FUND Project InducTomE)

Plant secondary metabolites are essential components of the human diet, utilised as phytomedicines, as industrial raw materials and high-value fine chemicals. Chemically, secondary metabolites exhibit an enormous diversity and complexity, which makes their industrial chemical synthesis difficult and expensive. Agriculture and horticulture produce large quantities of plant biomass residues as by-products. Plants increase the production of secondary metabolites in response to abiotic and biotic stress. InducTomE project aims to identify abiotic stress treatments to induce the accumulation of two secondary metabolites (rutin and solanesol) in green tomato residues to high amounts (fig. 1). A conceptual process design will be developed for an extraction process and emerging value chains will be evaluated together with their economic feasibility. In addition, co-induced secondary metabolites will be identified and their market entry potential will be evaluated. As a long-term prospect, the developed process concept will be transferable to other waste streams and metabolites, thereby playing a pivotal role in the successful development of a bioeconomy perspective.

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Figure 1: Interdisciplinary approach to generate added value to horticultural production of tomato

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