BIOBESTicide had a nice talk with Benoit Keraval to learn more about the project, Greencell role within the activities and its contribution to the agri-food industry.
My name is Benoit Kéraval, I have a PhD in biogeochemistry and microbial ecology. I joined Greencell to coordinate the BioBesticide project in January 2021. Greencell is a company specialised in the production of biomass and co-products from microbial origin. Our fields of application are Food factory, Agriculture, Environment, Cosmetics and Pharmaceutics. If we focus on the field of agronomy, which is at the heart of the BIOBESTicide project, Greencell has created the Greenalvia brand, which includes several biostimulant products based on microorganisms. Our company is also involved in several projects which aim to produce biocontrol solutions in order to offer alternative solutions to the use of chemical pesticides to the agriculture of tomorrow. This is notably the case for the active substance Pythium oligandum, which we aim to industrialize the production in the BIOBESTicide project. P. oligandrum is an oomycete that can be used to control Grapevine Trunk Diseases. This active substance could replace sodium arsenite, a molecule that was withdrawn from the market in 2003 for its deleterious effects on the environment and human health.
Since its creation, Greencell has developed extensive theoretical and technical knowledges in the field of the microbial bioindustry. Through the diversity of the productions carried out in our company, we have acquired diversified equipment that can support large production volumes of microorganisms and co-products. These elements give to Greencell a sufficient stability to be integrated into an H2020 BBI JU project. Furthermore, Greencell’s values and business objectives are in line with the vision and objectives of the Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda. Moreover, this kind of project allows us to build new collaborations. These are the reasons why we decided to join the biobesticide adventure.
Within the Biobesticide value chain, we are involved in the optimization and the scale-up of the production of P. oligandrum oospores at the industrial scale.
This is a very wide and complex issue. Things are changing so quickly these days. Globally, we see that the production of foodstuffs produced in the respect of the environment and the human health is at the heart of today’s societal, political and regulatory concerns. In this context, microorganisms represent extremely interesting candidates to be used as an alternative in the development of new agri-food practices. The metabolic features and opportunities of these organisms can be encountered throughout the agri-food production chain, from the production of raw materials by farmers (e.g. biostimulant, biocontrol, probiotics) to food processing (e.g. refining flora).
2022 will be a crucial year at Greencell for the Biobesticide project. We need to launch several industrial-scale productions of P. oligandrum oospores to familiarize ourselves with the DEMO tool in order to control the different production stages of the process (i.e. oospore cultivation, harvesting and processing). In parallel, our R&D team must pursue the optimization of P. oligandrum cultivation conditions (pre-cultivation and main cultivation) in order to achieve the oospore production objectives defined in the Biobesticide project.