Using industrial side streams in Food, Feed, Cosmetics and Packaging

The INGREEN project is featured in the Open Access Government magazine. In this article Prof. Rosalba Lanciotti, University of Bologna, talks about finding new ways to valorise industrial side streams for use in Food, Feed, Cosmetics and Packaging.

The need to address food and paper & pulp waste is apparent when looking at the current statistics, namely:

  • 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually in the EU, which not only costs €143 billion but also wastes a potentially valuable source of bioactive ingredients.
  • The paper and pulp industry is the 6th largest polluting industry globally, producing 11 million tonnes of waste and 42 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year in Europe alone.

Making the food and paper industry more sustainable is not only good for the environment, but optimizing the use of all materials in production processes will also enable industry to capitalise on the market opportunities for functional ingredients and bio-based chemicals, namely:

  • The market for functional food ingredients is estimated to reach €88 billion by 2023, with a CAGR of 6.6%. Such ingredients serve to strengthen the human immune system, help manage weight and improve overall health, among other benefits. They can also be used in animal feeds to maintain digestive health.
  • The bio-based chemicals market is growing at a CAGR of 16.53%, expected to reach €22 billion by 2026.

This article also describes the six key steps in the scientific approach followed by the INGREEN project to achieve their goal of producing functional ingredients and bio-based chemicals. This approach assumes that only tailor-made biotechnological processes, validated at industrial levels, may overcome the main barriers limiting the production of these compound and prototype products. The success of the project is also discussed, this is attributed to the strength of the project consortium that consists of complementary and multidisciplinary expertise from academia and industry.

Read the full article title ‘Using industrial side streams in Food, Feed, Cosmetics and Packaging’ on the Open Access Government website.