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LEF Ingenieros leads the REFISHEIN project, which is part of the call for “Program for Bilateral Chile-Catalonia Projects” within the grant program “Industrial research and experimental development” from ACCIÓ (Government of Catalunya). The project is carried out with the collaboration of LEITAT Technological Institute.

The main objective of REFISHEIN project is to develop and validate a new industrial process which maximizes the protein content of what is industrially known as stickwater: a liquid stream obtained during the fishmeal manufacturing process. The project pursues to purify protein from stickwater and to recover and reintroduce this protein content to the fishmeal, in order to increase the quality of the final product.

The collaboration with Chile arose due to the fact that this country, together with Peru, are world leaders in fishmeal production, which means that there is an obvious interest in optimizing this industrial process.

Within this project, LEF Ingenieros will develop a new laboratory-scale process based in two technologies:

  • First, a biotechnological process will be developed for enzyme hydrolysis of the stickwater protein content.
  • Second, the hydrolyzed proteins will be purified using membrane technology. The aim of this step is to remove undesirable compounds such as salts and biogenic amines.


The technologies developed within REFISHEIN project (biotechnology and nanotechnology) are considered to be part of the Key Enabling Technologies (KETs): a group of technologies that are considered of great potential to enhance economic growth, while offering a wide range of applications which will allow to optimize the consumption of energy and resources.

This project is being developed with the support of ACCIÓ (Agency for Business Competitiveness, Government of Catalonia) and co-financed by the European Union under the ERDF operational framework program (European Regional Development Fund of Catalonia 2014-2020).

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