AZTI-Tecnalia, the Life GISWASTE project coordinator, will be taking part in the “From waste to energy” international conference that will take place in Bilbao on 2 to 3 June, as part of the Coolsweep European project.

The Life GISWASTE team will give an oral presentation of the project, whose aim is to prioritise agri-food waste recovery alternatives in two channels:biogas generation and production of animal feed.

Waste as a resource is the theme of the conference, whose purpose is to gather together companies, universities, technology centres and administration from all around Europe in the search of solutions to change waste into energy.The “From waste to energy” conference is part of the Coolsweep project and its objective is alsoto share synergies between regions and business opportunities regarding waste and energy.

Further information: Coolsweep Project

Published in GISWASTE update

The Packaging, Transport and Logistics Technology Institute (ITENE) has unveiled its latest advances in packaging technology. Apart from improving the properties of the fresh products, they are capable of lengthening their shelf life.

One of the projects presented was Easyfruit, active packaging that lengthens the shelf life of peeled fruit and ensures that it can be eaten for up to twelve days.Other technology unveiled was the smart packaging, specifically, packaging that is capable of indicating the freshness of the food it contains and that changes colour as the food goes off.

The hope is for these technologies to generate new business opportunities in companies that will allow consumers’ demands to be met, costs to be reduced and will prevent food waste, among other points.

Further information: ITENE

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From 1 May to 14 July, the Milan Universal Exhibition will host Futurotextiles, an exhibition of designs made by the textile industry using fibres obtained from by-products from the agri-food sector. 

Waste from food such as oranges, lemons, pineapples, bananas, seaweed, mushrooms, coffee, rice, soya, corn or beetroots, along with by-products from wine and beer making, or even from shellfish, has been used to produce these new textile fibres.

The exhibition aims to bring to the fore the potential synergies existing between food production and the textile industry, by highlighting the environmental benefits of using this type of waste that is, usually, thrown away.

Further information: Futurotextiles

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Researchers from the CSIC and from the University of Granada have published a study that assesses the biological properties of the by-products from the coffee industry, such as coffee grounds and husks. They conclude that that food waste, which is currently thrown away, has 500 times the antioxidant power of Vitamin C.

This opens up the way for those by-products to be used in the production of functional foods, as they are rich in fibre and phenolic compounds, which are beneficial for health.

Coffee producers around the world generate over 2 billion tons of those by-products each year.

Further information: Residuos profesional

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Europha research project has been designed to use the waste generated by the agri-food sector in order to produce 100% biodegradable polymers. The aim is for them to be used in manufacturing foam trays and film to replace the oil-based materials that are currently used in the packaging industry.

Bioplastics such as polyhydroxyanlkanoates (PHA) are sustainable alternatives to petrochemical plastics, as they have similar properties to the latter, but with the advantage of coming from renewable sources and being biodegradable. The aim of the EUROPHA project is to produce PHA using mixed bacterial cultures from sugar-rich waste from the agri-food industry. Companies can thus use the waste they generate as raw material to obtain a high value added product, thus saving on the cost of waste treatment.

Further information: Interempresas

 

 

 

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The European project Biogas3, coordinated by the Ainia technology centre, has launched SmallBIOGAS, an online tool aimed at SMEs in the agri-business sector that allow the environmental, economic and technical feasibility of installing small-scale biogas production plants to be assessed.

The tool, which is available on the project website, allows companies to identify their energy needs and the difficulties that may emerge when installing their own agri-industrial biogas plant.

Biogas is a fuel generated by the decomposition of organic matter by certain microorganisms in the absence of oxygen, which is known as anaerobic digestion.This technology is widely used in wastewater and waste treatment plants.The energy contained in the biogas can be used as fuel.

Further information: Retema

 

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Scientists from several countries have developed methods to efficiently use waste from the food industry, including from fish filleting, rapeseed presscakes and mustard seeds. The Apropos project has created new technologies aimed at SMEs to use those by-products to produce diet supplements and skincare products, among other uses.

In the case of rapeseed presscakes, they are the by-producs of the process to produce oil using this plant and are used as a component for animal fodder. Half the proteins of the seeds have been recovered thanks to the methods developed in the Apropos project.

Similar processes have been developed for the waste from fish filleting, which can be used to prepare protein supplements, and to extract a compound from mustard seeds that is efficient as a pesticide for crops.

Further information: Apropos project

 

 

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Xanel Vecino, a researcher at Vigo University, has obtained biosurfactants and bioabsorbents - products with applications in different sectors - using vine and corn waste and by-products.

As she explains in her PhD thesis, Xanel Vecino has transformed waste from pruning vines and processing corn into biosurfactants or natural detergents, used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, and into bioabsorbents, used to treat wastewater.

Her research, which has resulted in three patents, is committed to using and recovering waste from the winemaking and corn processing industries, by means of transforming them into high added value and more environmentally sustainable products.

Further information: Vigo al minuto

 

 

 

 

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Ford, the motor company, has teamed up with Heinz to explore the possibility of using tomato fibres in developing sustainable, composite materials for use in vehicle manufacturing.

They are specifically exploring the generation of the so-called plant plastics, in this case recycling the tomato skins that Heinz uses to produce its ketchups. Those new products would then be used to construct different parts of the Ford vehicles.

Further information: Residuos profesional

 

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Research by the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) has concluded that chitosan can efficiently maintain some food properties which can therefore be kept for longer, but they have a lower environmental impact than conventional plastics.

Chitosan is made using the shells of prawns, king prawns and other shellfish. A product is thus recovered that would be otherwise considered waste and the resulting material is also biodegradable and has antimicrobial properties.

The experiment has so far been satisfactorily tested with carrots. However, the researchers themselves acknowledge that the industrial use of chitosan on a large scale for food packaging is a long-term goal.

Further information: University of the Basque Country

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