Puratos, LM-UGent and iMEAN join forces to create a unique genomic database and develop innovative clean(er) food solutions
Toulouse, France, August 30th, 2022 – We are happy to announce a new collaboration between the Laboratory of Microbiology of Ghent University (LM-UGent), Puratos, a Belgian group, which offers a full range of innovative food ingredients and services for the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors, and iMEAN, a French bioinformatics start-up based in Toulouse.
The goal of this partnership is to create a one-of-a-kind genomic database of food-grade bacteria that will make it possible to identify enzymes and molecules with specific functionalities. Ultimately, this will result in more innovative, cleaner ingredients for the food industry and consumers.
Food Innovation For Good
Since Puratos was founded in 1919, it has been driven by a passion for innovation, helping its customers around the world to produce and deliver nutritious, healthy and tasty food to their local communities. Puratos is recognized in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate markets for its ability to innovate and offer truly disruptive food solutions with the best nutritional value possible, never compromising on taste, texture, quality or safety.
One database, endless possibilities
LM-UGent researchers have been studying the diversity of micro-organisms in various ecosystems, among which food products, since the early 1990s. During these ecology and diversity studies, a collection of more than 100,000 bacterial isolates was obtained and preserved.
The collaboration between Puratos and LM-UGent has resulted in an annotated genomic database of 1000 food-grade microorganisms from the LM-UGent private strain collection.
Thanks to iMEAN’s distinctive expertise in micro-organism metabolism as well as bio-informatics and software development, it was chosen to lead the construction of the database and development of a web interface to import, visualize and query all the data.
The database does not only contain genomic data of the microorganisms but also all metadata available related to the strains such as origin, environmental pH, temperature, humidity, oxygen, sugar and salt concentration, one of the features that makes this database unique.
This database will allow Puratos and LM-UGent to search and identify specific enzymes and metabolic pathways that can be used to produce enzymes or molecules with interesting functionalities such as flavor compounds and organic acids that can be used in the food industry.