Circular Bioeconomy

Circular Bioeconomy

We are developing multidisciplinary approaches to encourage a circular Bioeconomy mindset, which reuses biproducts and waste, and increases the environmental sustainability of our food system. 

The current environmental impacts of our food production are unsustainable, with approximately one third of all lost or wasted. We are developing integrated solutions to transform the traditional linear ‘produce-use-dispose’ model into a circular Bioeconomy.  

A circular Bioeconomy involves re-incorporating production side-streams and residues as secondary raw materials i.e. finding another use for waste products. To do this, we are bringing stakeholders together from across the food value chain in close collaboration with consumers, policy makers and authorities. This will enable us to increase sustainability by developing alternative sourcing opportunities and by minimising agricultural, transport and consumer-driven losses as well as energy consumption.  

To achieve this our innovation activities are focussed on the following key areas: 

Tackling hotspots in the environmental footprint

Using next-generation technologies to target reductions in food waste, energy and water consumption across the supply chain. Including the development of new food manufacturing processes with quality standards and guidelines for zero-waste, diversifying the use of raw materials, reducing microbial/chemical contamination risks, as well as engaging consumers to enhance recycling and reduce food miles. 

Increasing market penetrations of ingredients from sustainable, alternative sources 

Facilitating industrial adoption of underutilised resources, alternative ingredients and sources of energy. We are addressing regulatory issues to support and enable science-based food innovations using new and sustainable ingredients, as well as enhancing sustainability of existing major nutrient and energy sources using biofortification, precision agriculture and sustainable intensification. This includes making primary production more efficient through new crop breeding, sustainable intensification, and use of big data for precision farming and aquaculture, while exploiting alternative genetic resources and protecting biodiversity. 

Driving circular excellence

Exploring the integration of new efficient technologies for extraction, fractionation, conversion and purification of heterogeneous waste and side-streams into functioning value chains. This includes side-stream analysis in selected food value chains, as well as developing complementary partnerships and technological solutions for disassembly, reassembly, recycling and logistic strategies to mobilise new scalable value chains from supply of side-streams to commercially successful products. 

Current projects

 Interplay between different wheat cultivars and novel biostimulants to increase quality and yield in different agroclimatic conditions
Innovation

Interplay between different wheat cultivars and novel biostimulants to increase quality and yield in different agroclimatic conditions

Improving European farmers' competitiveness through technology transfer and innovation integration is essential to address future challenges in the sector. Increasing wheat grain quality and yield and enabling sustainable intensification...

Consumer and Manufacturing Driven Alternative Packaging Solutions from Agrifood Waste Streams
Innovation

Consumer and Manufacturing Driven Alternative Packaging Solutions from Agrifood Waste Streams

Suitable materials for meat, fish & poultry have constraints such as the need for an oxygen barrier & stability at higher temperatures, so wide-scale use of alternatives has so far...

inPaper: Innovative paper-based packaging technology and pack styles for food products
Innovation

inPaper: Innovative paper-based packaging technology and pack styles for food products

China is restricting plastic waste imports. Some countries have raised taxes on plastic bags or a complete ban. Within the food and packaging industry, there is an uncertainty about sustainable...

EIT Food Digital Marketplace for Side Streams
Innovation

EIT Food Digital Marketplace for Side Streams

The following intermediate steps are required. Mapping of sourcing criteria for side streams; Comprehensive capturing of the ingredient composition of each side stream by using cutting-edge analytical technologies (LC-SWATH-MS) enabling...

FROM WASTE TO FARM: insect larvae as tool for welfare improvement in poultry
Innovation

FROM WASTE TO FARM: insect larvae as tool for welfare improvement in poultry

Insect larvae will be reared on food side streams, allowing the valorization of secondary raw materials produced in excess from food industries, and then used as environmental enrichments in...

Metamorphosis – enhanced insect protein for aquaculture
Innovation

Metamorphosis – enhanced insect protein for aquaculture

Metamorphosis will build on foundational work performed in year 1 in regards to conversion of organic waste streams into valuable, next generation functional aquaculture feeds, utilising insect biomass conversion and...

Our Nutritious Protein
Innovation

Our Nutritious Protein

To date, minimally processed plant -proteins are hampered as alternatives to animal -proteins due to the presence of usually called “antinutritional factors” (ANFs), decreasing their nutritional value. Enzyme...

MIDSA - MIcroencapsulated Diets for Sustainable Aquaculture
Innovation

MIDSA - MIcroencapsulated Diets for Sustainable Aquaculture

However, bivalve industry growth is falling behind fish aquaculture due to critical defects in the production process. Feed defects, disease, and quality issues are throttling production. We will develop a...

Fermented seaweed based novel feed additives - SEAFEED
Innovation

Fermented seaweed based novel feed additives - SEAFEED

The aim of the project is to develop microbes and anaerobic microbial processes applying marine microalgae feedstock for production of health promoting bioactive ingredients in feed. In previous and ongoing...

GLAD - Green Last Mile Delivery: a more sustainable way for food home delivery tailored to consumer needs
Innovation

GLAD - Green Last Mile Delivery: a more sustainable way for food home delivery tailored to consumer needs

The objective of the GLAD activity (Green last mile delivery) is to develop both a strategy and a platform that helps making the last mile in food e-commerce at the...

Dairy products with reduced saturated fatty acids
Innovation

Dairy products with reduced saturated fatty acids

Dairy foods are major sources of saturated fatty acids (SFA) in many EU diets but are also crucial sources of key nutrients, and have other functions. Replacing traditional dairy foods...

Favuleux: Developing Fava bean as a sustainable source of high quality protein for food, through optimized genetics, farming & processing
Innovation

Favuleux: Developing Fava bean as a sustainable source of high quality protein for food, through optimized genetics, farming & processing

Fava bean is a grain legume which is welladapted to Northern Europe, and is relatively cheap to grow. Two million tonnes are currently produced across the EU-28, particularly in the...

Seaweed supplementation to mitigate methane (CH4) emissions by cattle (SeaCH4NGE)
Innovation

Seaweed supplementation to mitigate methane (CH4) emissions by cattle (SeaCH4NGE)

There is a gap in the market for products with lower environmental impact as consciousness among consumers rapidly increases. We will investigate the potential of different forms of seaweed as...

OLEOGELS – healthy and sustainable replacement for saturated fat and palm oil in spreads
Innovation

OLEOGELS – healthy and sustainable replacement for saturated fat and palm oil in spreads

Their base fat systems show a great potential for optimization regarding their nutritional and sustainability value. In the current activity, spreads with improved fatty acid profiles shall be developed. Therefore,...

ISP - Isolation and Application of Plant-based Ice Structuring Proteins in Frozen Foods
Innovation

ISP - Isolation and Application of Plant-based Ice Structuring Proteins in Frozen Foods

In this project, we focus on the upscaled isolation of ISP from plant materials and their application in ice cream and bakery products. The following objectives will be accomplished with...

Advanced technologies for beef & lamb composition, imaging & sorting
Innovation

Advanced technologies for beef & lamb composition, imaging & sorting

The project will expand, adapt & implement 3-D CT scanning technologies to digitise the beef & lamb food chain into a new Connected Food System. It will enable accurate...

The development of organic supply chains that drive fair, transparent and healthy options for the consumer
Innovation

The development of organic supply chains that drive fair, transparent and healthy options for the consumer

On a global basis the amount of fraud occurring in the organic supply system is growing rapidly and issues are appearing on a weekly basis. The potential to totally undermine...

Constituent sensing of small grains
Innovation

Constituent sensing of small grains

Additionally, food safety requires the full traceability of crop constituents in the complete food value chain. This includes correct and seamless documentation of all production steps. One missing piece is...

Our other Innovation programmes

Inclusive and trusted food system

Inclusive and trusted food system

Discover how we are increasing trust in the food system by increasing the traceability and auditability of food quality, safety and authenticity, and catalysing an overall digitalisation of the food value chain.

Healthier nutrition

Healthier nutrition

Our innovation activities are helping to reduce the prevalence and diet-related risk of developing metabolic diseases through personalised nutrition services, including non-invasive tools, online information services and novel technologies, enabling people to make healthier decisions.

Connected and transparent system

Connected and transparent system

We are increasing the connectivity and transparency of the food system to improve the safety, real-time traceability, quality and sustainability of ingredients benefitting both the consumer and industry.