The recently appointed professor with a personal chair Luisa Trindade breeds crops for the biobased economy. Following her motto ‘no waste’, she aims at using the entire bell pepper and tomato plants.
Trindade outlines there are large amounts of proteins and fibres in these plants, so the tomato fibres could also be used to manufacture jeans. But the crops also produce substances that protect the plant against fungi. She wants to investigate which bioactive substances those are and whether they can be used as a preservative or as a natural pesticide.
‘The crops that we have at the moment were developed for food production, not for the biobased economy’. She wants to develop plants that can be processed entirely into food or non-food products. ‘I perceive plants as a factory of ingredients such as proteins, sugars and oils. These components can be used to manufacture products if there is sufficient societal demand.’