10/2014, Finished R&D Projects

Development of a method for extraction of inulin from sunchoke marc of juice extraction

  • funding program: ZIM-KF (BMWi)
  • term: 01/10/2014 – 30/09/2016
  • project partners: Liven GmbH

Initial Position

The company Liven GmbH processed in about 1000 t of sunchoke tubers into juice. This produces about 900 tons of juice and about 100 tonnes of marc. The marc is fed at the time of disposal cost neutral. The sunchoke is of particular importance from a nutritional point of view. In addition to a number of vitamins the tuber contains inulin.
Inulin is a polysaccharide, and very suitable for diabetics, because of containing fructose units and serves as a glucose replacement. More specifically, it consists 2 to 200 of fructose units, which are provided at the end with a glucose molecule. There is 7 to 16 g inulin in 100 g of fresh sunchoke tubers /1/. The marc has an inulin content of about 40% of the fresh tuber.


The aim of the project is the development of a new process for the production of inulin powders by the utilization of the hitherto not economically used residue from the topinambur juice production.

The method that has to be developed should be realized by an extraction with a practical solvent (water, ethanol) and has to be modified from a literature known laboratory test. Furthermore at the end a practicable technology should exist. There is a target yield of minimum 70 %.


PPM developed a suitable overall process in the laboratory as well as pilot plant (scale-up). It is an aqueous extraction without the use of organic solvents. The manageability is thus substantially simplified for the food industry, as well as being safer and more cost-effective. The inulin extract could be obtained with a very good yield of 80% and with a quality of the product of approximately 50% in laboratory scale.

The technical implementation of the process into the industry is currently ongoing.

/1/ www.topinambur.org vom 25.03.2014

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