Project: Innovative (pre)POmace Valorization procEss

Acronym ImPrOVE
Duration 01/05/2018 - 30/04/2021
Project Topic The ImPrOVE (Innovative (pre)POmace Valorization procEss) project addresses a major European wide agro-related problem: pomace resulting from pressing fruit. This high amount of pomace is considered waste, but contains natural and highly functional compounds. Skin and core of fruit contain protecting and functional molecules: antioxidants, stabilizers, colorants, aromas, fibers with potential in high value applications in cosmetics, diets and, as bio-additives in food and beverages. ImPrOVE aims to fully valorize pomace by using a combination of existing and innovative processes. These should be easy without high energy/cost demands, resulting in access for S(M)E’s (economic strategic European targets) with profit redistributed over the whole chain, strengthening Europe's agro and food activities. ImPrOVE will design a generic process flow applicable to most pomace types. Two cases will be studied: Southern European olive pomace and Mid/Northern European apple/pear/cherry/cucumber pomace. Total valorization is achieved in three process clusters: (1) pretreatment giving raise to aromas and oil from separated seeds; (2) extraction of high value materials from the pretreated pomace and (3) valorization of the resulting fibrous mass, either directly (functionally designed fibers) or by splitting cellulose-lignin and valorizing both materials physically, enzymatically and/or chemically. An ambitious concept is to use bio-based ionic liquids (BIOILs) or natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) as extraction liquids advanced green solvents. More ambitious, highly appealing, is to study whether the extraction solution itself can be utilized instead of the isolated and purified ingredients, avoiding some downstream processing. Dermatological and metabolomic tests, (eco)toxicity, biodegradation, industrial relevance, scalability and economic viability will be sustainably addressed by the European multidisciplinary partner cluster, with academic and industrial members.
Network SUSFOOD2

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Pisa Coordinator Italy
2 University of Nottingham Partner United Kingdom
3 University College Dublin Partner Ireland
4 Tallinn University of Technology Partner Estonia
5 Konings NV Partner Belgium (Flanders)
6 University of Antwerp Partner Belgium (Flanders)
7 Institute for Agricultural, Fisheries and Food Research Partner Belgium (Flanders)
8 Proefcentrum Fruitteelt vzw Partner Belgium (Flanders)