Happy Birthday CuanTec, One Year old.
In a year CuanTec has have gone from an empty lab in MediCity, composed of two rooms with no equipment, and a team of three to a fully equipped large lab in BioCity, and an additional lab at the European Marine Sciences Centre at Oban and seven employees.
First, the scientists created chitosan, at small scale chemically from langoustine, in order to have an idea of the yield that is possible. Thereafter biological investigation, trying several bacteria, and several processes were used to find the perfect fermentation to extract chitin from langoustines.
Kasia Olszewska, Senior Chemistry Technician joined the team in February, to helped understand how to improve the chitin and chitosan. Simultaneously work began on bioplastic formulation. Food Unwrapped presenter Jimmy Doherty discusses the process with Dr. Cait Murray-Green, CEO CuanTec.
In June CuanTec were chosen among 240 contestants to win the Scottish Edge HIGGS Category with a £150k development grant. New formulations followed to focus on the clarity, flexibility and durability of product properties.
CuanTec opened a second lab at the European Marine Science Park, Oban in October, headed up by Tracy White, Head of Microbiology, the BioCity team was also stengthened by Sarah Connelly
Scaling up the fermentation process, to make it industrially efficient and testing the antimicrobial activity of both chitosan and the bioplastic on various food bacteria to assess its efficiency continues in development.
CuanTec are currently recruiting partners for their consortium to take the process designed for chitin extraction from langoustine and adapt it for other chitin containing substances – crustaceous, fungal and insect.