Project name: Fungal colourants
Project manager: Ilaria La Bianca (i.labianca1@avans.nl) 

Background 

Colours are an essential component of human lives since they can influence the final appearance of many products. A large variety of choices can be affected by the colours which are presented to us, for example in the food industry, product design, textiles etc. (Rao et al. 2017). 

Synthetic colours are dominating nowadays landscape, due to their ease of production, low manufacturing costs and resistance (UV, temperature) in use. However, many of these are also considered hazardous to both human and environmental wellbeing. In the effort of achieving a more sustainable society and limit environmental footprint, natural pigments are arising more and more interest (Velmurugan et al, 2009). 

Biobased pigments can derive from a variety of sources, such as plants, bacteria, algae and fungi (Venkatachalam et al. 2018). The present project is a feasibility study on producing pigments with fungi. In order to understand the most optimal production requirements, the biological conditions and extraction techniques will be studied. The initial characterisation of the produced pigments will be carried out both regarding the chemical composition and the properties, such as UV- and thermal stability. 

Assignment description 

As an intern at the Centre of Expertise BioBased Economy (CoEBBE) you would be responsible in carrying out experiments relating to the production of pigments from fungi. Your project will be based on the following activities: 

  • literature study on natural pigments, fungi and fungi-derived pigments 
  • growth of different fungal species 
  • initiation of extraction of fungal pigments 

Starting date 

September 2021. The length of the assignment is 5 months. The student who will execute the assignment gets a a fee of €350,- per month. 

Desirable skills/qualities of the student 

The student should be able to work independently and carry out independent laboratory research. Background in environmental sciences, and microbiology are preferable. HBO or university students are preferred. 

Contact: 

Contact person concerning this assignment : Ilaria La Bianca
E-mail : i.labianca1@avans.nl
Visiting address : AKV st. Joost – Kunst Academy
Street / number, areal code and place : parallelweg 21-23, s’Hertogenbosch
Postal address : 5223 AL 

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