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Wood hemicelluloses for health and nutrition

profilePhoto   Christine Melay
Linksium Contact Christine Melay +33 (0)6 21 77 19 90 christine.melay@linksium.fr


  • New prebiotic based on wood oligosaccharides
  • No competition with arable land
  • Optimization of the use of an industrial raw material

Key words

  • Oligosaccharides
  • Galactoglucomannan
  • Dietary supplement
  • Prebiotic

Intellectual Property

  • 1 patent
  • 1 knowhow

Partnerships & Rewards

  • Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes


  • LGP2


  • CNRS

Linksium Continuum

  • Maturation
  • Commercialization


  • Available licenses


The future startup HEMICELL PREBIO aims to produce hemicellulose extracted from wood (20 to 30% of wood in mass). These hemicelluloses are currently burned in the process of the paper industry (300 million tons of wood per year in the world) to produce cellulose. These molecules have a prebiotic activity: they bring a benefit for human health by stimulating and restoring the activity of the gut microbiota.
Our patented process completes the recovery of wood used by the paper industry. This start-up project, supported and funded by SATT Linksium, is the result of five years of collaborative and multidisciplinary academic research.


Extraction of wood hemicelluloses is followed by various purification processes. A wide range of oligosaccharides (several polymerization degrees, saccharide composition, etc.) can be obtained.


These oligosaccharides have prebiotic properties (improvement of the health of the host via a modulation of its microbiota i.e. bacterial population) validated in vitro on selected strains such as Akkermansia muciniphila and in vivo mouse models.

Our oligomers, derived from wood, do not compete with food crops (no use of arable land) and value by-products of the cellulose industry that are readily available in large quantities.

State of progress

After the demonstration at the laboratory scale (10 to 100g), a first pilot scale now allows a production of about one kilogram. After demonstrating the extrapolation of the pilot scale process, the team is now focused on demonstrating the therapeutic properties of oligosaccharides.


New active ingredients extracted from wood for health nutrition as a dietary supplement (increased intestinal production of butyrates and propionates) and as a prebiotic (regulation of intestinal inflammations). Other applications are under study (therapeutic and cosmetic applications).