logo berryBacHBERRY, a 3-year project funded by the EC-FP7, leads the way in sustainable use of secondary metabolites from natural molecules

The project BacHBERRY: “The BacHBerry project will develop 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. It is a three-year collaborative project, which started November 1st , 2013. It is funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP7) with a total budget of 9.5 million euros.

In the era of increased environmental and health awareness new ways are being explored how to fully exploit to this day unrivalled natural resources with renewable bio-production. These new production methods will generate a sustainable pipeline of environmentally-friendly methods to enable production of pharma and agrochemical products with bioactive properties from berry fruits. This project stands out in bringing together the most recent technologies within the framework of systems metabolic engineering to develop the next-generation bacterial cell factories for the production of plant phenolics, and in applying it to phenolic compounds from cultivated, wild and underutilized species of berries – recognized for their antioxidant, health-promoting and functional properties and applied across applications as diverse as aromas, colours, nutraceuticals and medicines.

From BACterial Hosts of bERRY fruits to products

BacHBERRY  develops 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. This knowledge will facilitate metabolic engineering of suitable bacterial hosts for high-value phenolics production in scalable fermentation bioprocesses, ultimately serving as commercial production platforms. The project coordinator, Dr. Jochen Förster, at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark has gathered a highly multidisciplinary team of 18 partners from 10 countries all around the world with a vast array of expertise, technologies and know-how. The consortium assembles a full chain of research and innovation, composed of 12 RTOs, 5 SMEs and a large enterprise, with the capacity to exploit novel bioactivities from berry fruits diversity.

Sustainabiltiy and societal ramifications

In BacHBERRY Biofaction has the task to identify ways to ensure the project will be environmentally and economically sustainable, to investigate what potential societal issues (ethics, safety, etc) it impinges, and to enable a two way communication between the scientists and the public about the project. 

The partners in BacHBERRY at a glance:


  • Biofaction KG (Dr. Markus Schmidt)


  • Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (Prof. Pilar Bañados)


  • Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Prof. Wang Liang-Sheng)


  • The Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Biosustainability – Technical University of Denmark  (Prof. Jochen Förster) COORDINATOR
  • University of Copenhagen (Dr. Björn Hamberger)
  • Evolva Biotech A/S (Dr. Jørgen Hansen)
  • Chr. Hansen A/S (Dr. Finn Okkels)


  • Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique (Prof. Marie-France Sagot)


  • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Prof. Michael Bott)


  • University of Groningen (Prof. Oscar P. Kuipers)
  • Delft University of Technology (Dr. Marcel Ottens)


  • Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica (Dr. Cláudia Nunes Santos)
  • Instituto de Engenharia Mecânica (Dr. Susana Vinga)
  • Biotempo – Consultoria em Biotecnologia lda (Dr. Isabel Rocha)

Russian Federation

  • N. I. Vavilov Research institute of Plant Industry (Dr. Artem Sorokin)


  • The James Hutton Institute (Prof. Derek Stewart)
  • The John Innes Centre (Prof. Cathie Martin)
  • Norfolk Plant Sciences (Prof.. Cathie Martin)


BacHBERRY website