Optimal use and valorization of biomass streams from Cichorium

Project Details


Main research question/goal

The CichOpt project aims at biorefinery of all possible available Cichorium biomass streams (industrial chicory, Belgian Endive, radicchio, regular endive). The aim is to derive sustainable extra raw materials from the by-products and waste fractions. Bio-based product development has many possible faces in the form of different components and applications, but the researchers focus on the functionalities and bio-activities in the Cichorium biomass with a high economic value. This is realistic because most species are rich in a broad set of dietary fibres, sugars and secondary metabolites such as sesquiterpenelactones and polyphenols. The broader underlying objective is to promote the development of a bio-based EU economy that is sustainable and climate resilient.

Research approach

The researchers use the most advanced 'omics' technologies and cleverly designed biorefinery concepts. The aim is to achieve maximum integration: for example, at the same time environment- and energy-efficient processing, extraction and purification technologies. We carry out an adequate LCA and TEA analysis that provides us with a solid basis to finally select the best concepts.


Cichorium crops have potential from an agronomic point of view: they give good yields, they are climate-proof and they could complement traditional EU crop rotation. The developed bio-activity-driven process and product development is expected to result in innovative concepts useful for a wide range of actors in the future bio-based economy, i.e. food and beverage applications as well as non-food applications such as cosmetics and biomaterials. The strategic interaction with all relevant stakeholders from the outset may guarantee a maximum valorisation of the results obtained and an effective dissemination of CichOpt results.

External partner(s)
Nationale Proeftuin voor Witloof
Effective start/end date1/04/1830/06/21

Data Management Plan flag for FRIS

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