Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy
BOOST FUND 2.0 Project PepTechFruit

Peptide-based technologies prolonging fruit durability: Fighting food waste with advanced biotechnology


Fruits and vegetables play an essential role in human health and diet. In spite of their eminent importance for human welfare, a huge amount of fruit and vegetable products is still lost or wasted across the food chain by developmental, pathological and physical processes. Many of these processes are affected by the small gaseous plant hormone ethylene which is playing a crucial role in ripening, senescence and spoilage of fruits and vegetables. Current approaches to reduce wastage and food losses include manipulation of storage conditions, enzyme inhibition, genetic engineering and application of chemical ethylene antagonists. However, these strategies are often difficult to handle or are legally restricted. Previous studies in the BioSC BOOST FUND project RIPE have developed peptide-based ethylene inhibitors. The antagonistic peptide NOP‑1, used in these studies in pre- and postharvest applications on tomatoes and apples is derived from a protein of the ethylene signal transduction network (EIN2) that interacts with the ethylene receptors (ETRs). The peptide proved to be easily applicable in aqueous solution having clear commercial prospects within the fruit market. However, for this to be marketable several aspects have to be further addressed such as packaging solutions releasing the peptide at storage, applicability on other fruits and finally greener and cheaper peptide production. Moreover, food waste is a complex problem and therefore demands solutions that go beyond standalone technologies, i.e. that encompass the needs and wishes of all ecosystem actors. Thus, understanding the factors that influence stakeholders’–especially consumers’–acceptance of a new food technology is essential to enhance the market success of such innovative and sustainable technologies. Hence, the project aims to further develop the peptide-based ethylene inhibitors technology (PepTechFruit-technology) towards closing the gap to market entrance.

BOOST FUND 2.0 Coordinator

Dr. Alexander Minges
Biochemical Plant Physiology
HHU Düsseldorf
email: alexander.minges[at]



Prof. Dr. G. Groth, Biochemical Plant Physiology, HHU Düsseldorf
Prof. Dr. U. Schwaneberg, Biotechnology, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. U. Schurr, Dr. Robert Koller und Dr. Mark Müller-Linow, IBG-2 – Plant Sciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich
Prof. Dr. M. Hartmann, Jeanette Klink-Lehmann, ILR – Agricultural and Food Market Research, University of Bonn


Funding Period

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2026



PepTechFruit is part of the NRW-Strategieprojekt BioSC and thus funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.