Plants synthesize a staggering variety of secondary metabolites, and this chemodiversity is a poorly used pool of natural molecules with bioactive properties, potentially important for applications in the pharma and food industries. BacHBerry focused on phenolic compounds, a large and diverse class of plant metabolites, which are in the spotlight due to their claimed beneficial effects in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, but also have applications as cosmetics, flavours and food colorants etc. Berries are soft and colourful fruits, with great diversity, high content and unique profiles in phenolic compounds, making them a major source of these high-value metabolites.

The BacHBerry project developed a portfolio of sustainable methodologies to mine the potential of the untapped biodiversity of the bioactive phenolic compounds in an extensive collection of berry species. Full exploitation of this unrivalled natural resource requires an integrated and comprehensive effort from bioprospecting in berries using SMART high-throughput screens for the valorisation of phenolic bioactivities aligned with their identification using cutting edge analytics and subsequent elucidation of their biosynthetic pathways.

The knowledge produced throughout the lifetime of BacHBerry will continue to facilitate metabolic engineering of suitable bacterial hosts for high-value phenolics production in scalable fermentation bioprocesses, ultimately serving as commercial production platforms.

  • The consortium comprised a full chain of research and innovation, with 12 research groups, 5 SMEs and a large enterprise, representing 10 countries including International Cooperation Partnership Countries (ICPC) Russia, Chile and China.
  • BacHBerry worked on developing a pipeline of sustainable and cost-effective processes to facilitate the production of added-value berry phenolics with immediate potential for commercialization and consequent socio-economic benefits for the European community and beyond.

BacHBerry, launched November 2013, was a 3 year long project funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (Project No. FP7-613793), under the full title “BACterial Hosts for production of Bioactive phenolics from bERRY fruits”.

  • Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (Denmark) – coordinator
  • Instituto De Biologia Experimental E Tecnologica (Portugal)
  • The James Hutton Institute (United Kingdom)
  • John Innes Centre (United Kingdom)
  • Kobenhavns Universitet (Denmark)
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Netherlands)
  • Forschungszentrum Juelich (Germany)
  • Technische Universiteit Delft (Netherlands)
  • Instituto De Engenharia Mecanica (Portugal)
  • Institut National De Recherche En Informatique Et En Automatique (France)
  • Biofaction KG (Austria)
  • Evolva Biotech A/S (Denmark)
  • Chr. Hansen A/S (Denmark)
  • Biotempo – Consultoria Em Biotecnologia (Portugal)
  • Pontificia Universidad Catolica De Chile (Chile)
  • Institute Of Botany, Chinese Academy Of Sciences (China)
  • Russian State Scientific Institution N.I. Vavilov All-Russian Research Institute Of Russian Academy Of Agricultural Sciences (Russian Federation)
  • Norfolk Plant Sciences Limited (United Kingdom)

Biofaction contributed to the project in the fields of public communication/dissemination (with events held in Vienna, Beijing, Copenhagen and Lisbon, interviews with stakeholders etc.), regulations and sustainability assessment as well as access and benefit sharing (ABS).

For visual material connected to this project, have a look at our short documentary “The Berrymakers” below, or check out our science and factory game “BerryMaker”.

The Berrymakers from Biofaction on Vimeo.


Play online!