Artistic interpretation of technology and farm industry Copyright: © IWE1

Tailor-made protein products and systems for resource-efficient innovation in agribusiness and the food industry 

Projekt ProtLab
Kollaboration Bioeconomy Revier Germany
Laufzeit 2022-2026

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwaneberg RWTH-Biotec

CoPI Dr. Tetiana Kurkina


RWTH Aachen University

DWI - Leibniz Institut für Interaktive Materialien


In the context of the BioeconomyREVIER innovation cluster "Biotechnology & Cusntstofftechnik", the innovation lab ProtLab comprises three focus areas for healthy food and food products. The focus areas of bee health, biosensors for insecticide/toxin detection and sustainable food film pursue the collective goal of reducing pesticide use.

For plant health in the field, validation experiments of the basic innovation BiFuProts and greenRelease are fundamental for the ProtLab innovation lab. The BiFuProts and greenRelease technology platforms are based on adhesion promoter peptides (AdvP), which enable rainfast and comparatively selective binding to antibodies on plant leaves, fruits, polymeric materials and insects.

AdvP have a sequence length of 25- 100 amino acids and are capable of binding to various surfaces. Based on this property, AdvP serves as versatile adhesion promoters for immobilizing various functionality elements to a variety of solid interfaces. Other applications of AdvP such as catalyst immobilization, cell adhesion as well as accelerated degradation of plastics at RWTH-Biotec have already been presented. By using protein engineering, the properties of AdvP can be precisely tailored to meet application requirements, such as in selective attachment to a specific material, with tailored attachment strength, optimized occupancy density or proteolytic stability.

Bee Health

Bee Health represents the development of a process for the efficient and gentle treatment of honey bee hives against varroosis, a disease caused by the ectoparasitic varroa mite. Here, greenRelease-based insecticide release systems that specifically adhere to varroa mites and not to bees and their brood are being developed. This allows insecticides such as formic acid, oxalic acid or lactic acid to be applied specifically to the mites, so that significantly lower amounts of insecticides will be required for efficient control of the pest.

Food safety

biosensors are responsible for rapid on-site detection of insecticides and mycotoxins in food directly on farms, or during storage and transportation.

Food packaging

Food packaging is a technologically advanced product that provides rich protection of the respective contents. Multi-layer plastic packaging prevents loss and contamination of the contents, mechanical damage to the contents and undesirable physico-chemical changes, which can lead to inedibility, especially in the case of foodstuffs. To protect the contents from the effects of the media, a strong barrier effect is required, which in the case of films is currently achieved by special material composites, often in conjunction with a thin layer of the barrier plastic EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer). This can ensure that the food can remain in a low-oxygen atmosphere, minimizing oxidation of fats or vitamins and aerobic growth of microorganisms.



Vivek Pachauri

Group Leader


+49 241 80 27835