Background

Tackling Europe’s food waste problem

Agrimax is an EU-funded project that is developing and demonstrating the production of multiple, high-value products from crop and food-processing waste. The project is also developing economically competitive routes to the commercialisation of these products, using flexible, and possibly cooperatively run processing facilities.

 Around one-third of all food produced each year is wasted and a significant proportion of this is at the field and food processing levels. Globally, food and crop waste adds up to economic losses of around $936 billion and is responsible for 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions*. In Europe alone, around 90 million tonnes of food and 700 million tonnes of the crop are wasted every year.

 Agrimax is a major EU-funded project aimed at addressing this problem by finding value in crop and food processing waste. The project will maximise the EU’s sustainability while providing new biobased compounds for the chemicals, food-packaging and agricultural sectors.

*source: FAO

OBJECTIVES:

Building flexible, multi-feedstock pilot plant processing plants

Agrimax will take the residues and by-products from agricultural crops and process them in two, flexible, multi-feedstock pilot biorefineries, purpose-built for the project.  A refinery in Italy will process waste from tomatoes and cereals and another in Spain will do the same for olive and potato waste. The target is to convert 40% of the waste the pilot plants receive into high-value materials.
An online joint stakeholder platform that coordinates the provision of waste will help maximise the use of the pilot plants throughout the year and address seasonal and regional fluctuations, thereby maximising efficiency and profitability.

Agrimax’s pilot biorefineries will produce a cascade of innovative, waste-based products with superior ‘green’ credentials, including:

  •      ·  Biobased packaging (biobased coatings, biocomposites and ’active’ packaging).
  •      ·  Food ingredients (natural additives and functional food products with health benefits).
  •      ·  Biobased agricultural products (fertilisers and biodegradable mulching films and pots).

Agrimax will work with end users from the chemical, food-packaging and agricultural sectors to test the quality and performance of these new products.

APPROACH:

Agrimax will construct two pilot processing plants, in Italy and Spain, capable of processing waste from all four selected crops (cereals, olives, potatoes and tomatoes).

Agrimax will apply a range of processing technologies, to recover a significant amount of the valuable compounds contained in waste from the growing and processing of cereals, olives, potatoes and tomatoes. These technologies will include: ultrasound-assisted extraction; solvent extraction; filtration; and thermal and enzymatic treatments.  Local agricultural cooperatives will provide waste for processing and their contributions will be coordinated with the help of an online platform. End users will test the new, bio-based compounds products to validate their cost-effectiveness and performance.

The project will assess the environmental, societal, ethical, safety, and regulatory implications of this approach.  It will also develop economically competitive business strategies for the commercialisation of these products, possibly using cooperatively run processing facilities.

IMPACT:

Creating environmental, societal and economic impacts

Agrimax is expected to bring significant sustainability benefits. Life cycle analysis is being used to assess the total environmental impact of the new production pathways. The effect of the new farming practices and new fertilisers on  soil health will also be assessed. Agrimax’s new approach to biorefining is expected to bring a range of other benefits including;

  • ·  Opening new markets and building demand for sustainable, biobased products.
  • ·  Connecting organisations and sectors that have not previously worked together.
  • ·  Increasing the value of crop and food residues.
  • ·  Reducing Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels and improving its sustainability.
  • ·  Helping to create sustainable economic growth and rural jobs.

Agrimax: multiple high-value products from crop and food-processing waste

0 month
0 Millions €
0 countries
0 partners

Mapping and characterization of the available agricultural and food processing waste

 WP1 – Inventory and Specifications of the waste processing & derived biocompounds

Design of the pilot plant and implementation of the cascading approach

WP2 – Set up of the flexible pilot plants for processing waste-derived biocompounds
WP3 – Processing of wastes into high added value biocompounds

Real world validation of the new products

WP4 – Validation and demonstration for packaging materials applications
WP5 – Validation and demonstration for food products
WP6 – Validation and demonstration for agricultural applications

Evaluation of the sustainability of the process

WP7 – Safety, Environmental and economic Sustainability assessment of the developed processes & products

Business strategy elaboration

WP8 – Circular Economy strategy and Innovation Impacts

Consortium Management

WP9 – Consortium Management

The Agrimax Pilot Biorefineries will be soon accessible for co-operative use through a web based platform. Follow us if you are interested in converting your wastes or testing our products!

Join Us

Contact

Bio-Based Industries

This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720719

PROJECT COORDINATOR

Georgios Chalkias – IRIS
gchalkias@iris.cat

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Emma Needham – BioVale
emma.needham@biovale.org

Address

Parc Mediterrani de la Tecnologia
Avda. Carl Friedrich Gauss nº 11
08860 Castelldefels

Partners Area

This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 720719.

logo-biobasedindustries
logo-biobasedppp
eu-h2020