The SUSFOOD ERA-NET was built on and accelerated the work of the SCAR Collaborative Working Group that was launched in Denmark in 2010.
A first network SUSFOOD was initiated under FP7 and ran from 2011 until 2014. This predecessor of the current network SUSFOOD2 under H2020, had some major achievements, such as 2 research calls, one in 2013 and one in 2014, funding in total 15 projects, a strategic research agenda (SRA) and a metaknowledge base (MKB) which generated the SUSFOOD Country report.
After this succesfull edition, 26 partners applied for a H2020 SUSFOOD2 Cofunded which was granted and started in 2017. A first action of this Cofund was a 3rd call in which 12 research projects were funded.
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 of the pomace 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, LCA, industrial relevance, scalability and economic viability will be sustainably addressed by the European multidisciplinary partner cluster, with academic and industrial members.
Partners within the ImPrOVE cluster from the EU member states or 3rd countries who joined the SUSFOOD2 consortium.