KARATE project kicks off
Recovery of high value added proteins from poultry industry waste
Today, the animal-based food industry is one of the most critical and environmentally impactful: in the European Union alone, poultry farms produce more than 3 million tonnes of feather waste annually which is incinerated, thus releasing polluting by-products into the atmosphere.
In this context, the KARATE (Keratin smARt mATerials from feather wastE) project, coordinated by Politecnico di Milano and funded by Fondazione Cariplo within the framework of the call Circular Economy - Promoting research for a sustainable future, aims at reducing the environmental impact of the poultry production chain, contributing significantly to the revaluation and reuse of its waste, in order to transform it into high added value products. In particular, KARATE envisages the valorisation of waste feathers as a raw material for obtaining organic molecules of broad interest such as peptides and proteins, to be used as a basis for developing intelligent, high-performance biomaterials for the textile and biomedical sectors.
The project is coordinated by Pierangelo Metrangolo, full professor in Fundamentals of Chemistry for Technologies at the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta” of Politecnico di Milano. It involves three other research partners (Fondazione Istituto Insubrico Ricerca per la Vita, Consorzio Italbiotec and Centro de Investigacións Científicas Avanzadas of the Universidade da Coruña) and 11 industrial entities (BiCT Bioindustry Innovation, Kialab, Klopman, Linari Engineering S.r.l., Lombardy Green Chemistry Association, Revita Technology, ROELMI HPC, Società Agricola Bruzzese S.S., Solvay Specialty Polymers, VEGEA).
The KARATE project received grant no. 2022-0437 from Fondazione Cariplo.