Biotechnology

Biotechnology

The Microbiology & Biotechnology department works on a number of interdisciplinary tasks, including research and development projects as well as work to support sales and production.

A key aim of this department is to ensure that quality and hygiene standards are met for a range of products made by AGRANA. Other activities include developing new recycling possibilities for by-products and improving processes in bioethanol production. The requirements range from long-term projects to urgently required solutions.

Biotechnology Expertise

Many years of experience, outstanding infrastructure and staff know-how are what make the AGRANA Research and Innovation Center's Microbiology & Biotechnology department a competent partner to its clients. In addition to the microbiological quality analyses, which are a prerequisite for the exceptional standard of AGRANA products, supporting and improving the production process at the plants in Pischelsdorf also play an important role at ARIC.

Microbiological strain collection

The Microbiology & Biotechnology department possess a strain collection in which roughly 1,000 different micro-organisms, such as yeasts, moulds and bacteria, are kept and cultivated. Storing them properly in liquid nitrogen ensures that the individual micro-organisms can survive for years.

The strain collection is constantly being expanded and updated by ARIC with natural, in- isolates. As a result, we can produce all the seed materials required in the microbiological and biotechnological segment ourselves.

Microbiological quality check

AGRANA subjects its products to the highest standards of quality and hygienic purity. To be able to guarantee this, a wide range of different samples from every plant is analysed in our laboratory on a continuous basis using state-of-the-art microbiological methods. To this end, we have access to a rotor gene qPCR device, a NanoQuant microplate reader, a NEXUS PCR and various traditional agar contact plate methods, among others.

A security level 2 laboratory has been set up for more complex requirements. As a result, it is now possible for us to work safely with pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella, Cronobacter and Legionella, as well as with viruses and toxic fungi.

By introducing these state-of-the-art techniques, we have been able to considerably improve analysis accuracy and time. In this way, and ensuring the continuous training of its staff, AGRANA can guarantee the highest quality standards.

Process Optimisation

The Pischelsdorf wheat starch plant was taken into service in June 2013. Since then, bioethanol has been extracted from the unused residual raw material components resulting from starch production, in addition to the grain previously used. The stillage is processed further to make protein-rich, GMO-free feed (ActiProt®) and high quality fertiliser (BioAgenasol®). Any incidental carbon dioxide is extracted via a CO2 recovery plant operated by an industrial gas company.

The Microbiology & Biotechnology department helps to optimise wheat starch and bioethanol production by supporting the production process and answering specific questions in respect of: 

  • Microbiologically monitoring well water and process flows
  • Testing the latest enzymes available on the marketIdentifying the most efficient type of yeast
  • Increasing the fermentation rate by means of additives 
  • Assisting in the optimisation of process technology

Biotechnology Services

Thanks to the state-of-the-art laboratory and technical equipment, it is also possible for the Microbiology & Biotechnology department to handle complicated issues and tasks. In addition to the many different technologies, ARIC also has a molecular biology laboratory and a fermenter park, which are available to our clients.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

The polymerase chain reaction enables DNA to be reproduced, making it possible to identify micro-organisms and their potential threat. This enables significant time savings  since it involves less work compared to standard agar contact plate methods.

The use of quantitative PCR (qPCR) allows for the quantitative determination of micro-organisms and also those of specific (toxic) genes in a sample.

To perform this work, we have a Nexus PCR device, a rotor gene qPCR device, a Qiaxcel gel electrophoresis and a NanoQuant microplate reader at our disposal.

Fermentation

The Microbiology & Biotechnology department has a fermentation plant with appropriate equipment for downstreaming, including six fermenters (two 3 l, two 20 l, one 30 l, one 300 l), separators, a chamber filter press, spray and rotary drum driers, as well as an ultrafiltration plant.

This equipment allows us to start with small-scale fermentation trials and then scale up accordingly.

competent partner

Biotechnology has a long tradition at ARIC. Thanks to continuous investment in infrastructure and staff training, interesting projects can now be successfully carried out and a whole variety of different client requests are processed.

patents

Find out more about our patents.

patents

Research fields

Learn more about our research fields Sugar, Starch, Fruit & Biotechnology