The PHENOLIVIA project is perfectly aligned with the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy by offering a healthy, sustainable, equitable food ingredient which contributes to the circular economy of Olive oil production.
Olive oil production is responsible for large amounts of agricultural by-products, with only 20% of the olive fruit harvested resulting in actual Extra virgin olive oil. The remaining 80%, known as olive pomace, is considered waste.
Most Mediterranean countries face serious environmental and economic problems handling this waste as its chemical composition creates challenges for stability, recycling and further processing. However, olive pomace itself has a high olive antioxidant content, meaning this abundant and low-cost by-product has development potential for a wide range of value-added products.
The PHENOLIVA project brings together partners from the food industry, research and academia in order to implement an integrated waste management concept for the olive oil industry. Using a novel process, we will extract olive antioxidants from olive pomace, and process the resulting extract into an innovative food antioxidant. This extraction from olive pomace and processing into a food antioxidant is also fully circular, with all by-products recycled. As part of this project, we will create a startup to commercialise the results of this activity.