Agrimax

In Europe, around 90 million tonnes of food and 700 million tonnes of crop are wasted every year. 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 aims to maximise the EU’s sustainability, while providing new bio-based compounds for the food, packaging and farming sectors.

 

Objective

Agrimax will develop two pilot processing plants and use them to demonstrate the technical and commercial feasibility of extracting high-value compounds from agricultural and food processing waste.By applying them sequentially, Agrimax will produce a cascade of bio-based compounds with high-value applications, such as:

  • Packaging (bio-polymers, bio-composites, bio-based coatings, active packaging, stabilising agents)
  • Food (additives, ingredients, natural flavourings, edible coatings, microbial growth media)
  • Agricultural Materials (biodegradable pots, mulching films, bio-fertilisers).

By reducing waste and our dependence on fossil-fuels, Agrimax will help to maximise the EU’s sustainability, while creating new growth and jobs.

Approach

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.

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).  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.

Have a look at the project website

Watch project video

Period
2016-2020
Status
active
Budget
15 million euros
Funding
European Union’s H2020 research and innovation programme