Embion was featured in a regional newspaper for its work on enabling a more circular economy. Below is an english translation of the article published by Swiss newspaper La Côte. French version can be found here.

Valorizing food by-products

Photo Credits: Sigfredo Haro

Why always use more land and water resources for our food, when tons of food by-products could be its source? This is the question that Sviatlana Siankevich, Georgios Fengos and Georgios Savoglidis asked themselves. These three chemical engineers have worked at EPFL, notably on one of the projects funded by the Swiss National Fund, that wanted to encourage research into solutions to produce more sustainably. Today, they have patented their technology, as well as one of the first products derived from it, called Prembion™. It’s about plant bioactives.

Imagine the process as such: various large grains of salt are added, for example, to spent grains (the residues of barley after the brewing of beer) or leftover fruit and vegetables for juice, and a little of water. The mixture is cooked for a defined time depending on the material, then dried. It emerges a powder, high in fiber, protein and prebiotic properties. This can be added to animal feed which can replace the use of antibiotics and reduce the amount of food necessary for intensive farming. But also to cosmetic products for improved skin repair or energy drinks thanks to the proteins and fibers extracted from food by-products via the technology developed by Embion.

Photo Credits: Sigfredo Haro

In Etoy, the premises occupied by this start-up have three laboratories: the first dedicated to the research and development of these different “salts”, the second is the “kitchen” and the third analyzes the data in order to validate the work. Recently, Embion obtained 4.5 million francs during a fundraiser led by the Asahi Brewing Group. The industry’s interest in valorization of spent grains is strong, it is therefore, among other things, on these residues that the development of the patented technology is concentrated today by the three partners. While they wish to keep the development part in Switzerland, it is with existing industries in France, Germany and Italy that the operational part is being started.

Article published by “La Côte”