On the reutilization of agro-food waste

On the reutilization of agro-food waste

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Reutilization of food wasteIn the countries of southern Europe, the main agro-food businesses centre on the growing and processing of tomatoes, olives and grapes. However, the associated industrial processes generate million of tons of residues that are usually discarded. Far from being useless waste, these residues are a rich source of bioactive compounds with considerable value for health, as they contain fibres, vitamins and food additives.

Bioactive is a European Commission-funded project that aims to investigate and assess strategies for the extraction of bioactive compounds from tomato, olive and grape processing residues. The extraction and purification of the natural compounds found in these low-cost residues could offer an interesting waste management alternative and pose new challenges for the development of healthy foods or cosmetic products, which in turn will enable southern European countries to compete more successfully with agro-food powers such as the United States. In this respect, the ainia Technology Centre is participating in the Bioactive project (VI European Framework Programme) with the intention of creating a European information platform to publicise advances in this field. To this end, various meetings are due to be held in Spain, Italy, Greece and France to discuss the transfer of know-how and the evaluation of economic facilities for the extraction of bioactive compounds from the residues generated by SME agro-food processors.

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