Chosen for NRCT Invention Award 2022, eLysozyme is an antimicrobial agent extracted from egg white protein. Its application can now be found in food industry and animal farming. This useful innovation was developed by Dr. Weerapong Woraprayote, Researcher of BIOTEC Functional Ingredients and Food Innovation Research Group, along with industry partners, Ovo Foodtech and DMF (Thailand).

Lysozyme is a type of protein found in egg white and functions as a protection for the embryo from pathogens. Naturally, chicken egg white lysozyme has an antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria. However, Gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and Vibrio species are among pathogens posing challenges in food industry and animal farming. BIOTEC and its partners therefore embarked on the development of lysozyme effective against a wide spectrum of pathogens.

The work resulted in an antimicrobial agent called eLysozyme comprising multiple antimicrobial peptides derived from egg white protein whose antimicrobial properties have been enhanced. eLysozyme works against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. Two product types - eLysozyme-T1 and eLysozyme-T2 - have been developed.

eLysozyme-T1 was developed in collaboration with Ovo Foodtech as a food preservative due to its antimicrobial property. eLysozyme-T1 can double the shelf life of pasteurized liquid egg product from 4 weeks to 8 weeks without compromising the product’s functional properties.

eLysozyme-T2 is designed for controlling pathogenic microorganisms in animal farming. The product has demonstrated an ability to inhibit Vibrio species associated with two major shrimp diseases, namely Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) and White Feces Syndrome (WFS). In the tests performed in shrimp farms in Central and Eastern Thailand, eLysozyme-T2 mixed with shrimp feed was able to put WFS under control within 3-5 days and increase the survival rate by 200%. The productivity was doubled from 500 to 1,000 kg/rai. In addition, eLysozyme-T2 boosted shrimp immune system against any new pathogen. eLysozyme-T2 technology is estimated to increase the value of egg white by 400%, improve income of shrimp farmers by 300% and add THB 36.5 million investment to the food industry. This technology has been transferred for commercialization. The product called Magic DePlus is manufactured by Ovo Foodtech and distributed by Thai Union Feedmill. Planning is being made to test eLysozyme-T2 in pig and chicken farms.

eLysozyme technology demonstrates the power of research and innovation in creating additional value to bioresources and farm products and boosting the performance of industry, which are the key principles of the Bio-Circular-Green Economy (BCG) national agenda.