The project aims to demonstrate that sustainability and efficiency can be applied to agricultural and industrial practices by researching and boosting the potential of byproducts through their valorisation in a number of new value chains. The project started in July 2017 and will last until June 2020.
CITRUSPACK aims to demonstrate that sustainability and efficiency can be applied to agricultural and industrial practices by developing the potential of waste in order to diversify and grow farmers/producers’ income by means of its valorisation into a series of new value chains.
- Implementing a circular economy between all sectors involved: Maximize the use of citrus juice production waste side-stream by-products recovery by LIFE CITRUS* pilot line, demonstrating how natural fibres from peels can be used as a cheap and natural additive for the reinforcement for 100% biobased and biodegradable plastic bottles and jars. In addition, completing the cycle by using other substances from the pulp residues as natural antioxidants, pectins or essential oils in creams replacing other compounds.
- The optimization of waste management in the citrus juice production through an innovative extraction process: turning waste into a resource, by recycling a waste currently considered valueless, by means of extracting natural fibres and pulp. Revalorising at least 80 % of the final AMC´s fruit agrowaste (orange, lemon and clementine).
- Becoming a competitive market solution for biobased and biodegradable plastics: these plastics shall be competitive in the range of added-value products as premium juices (pack) or cosmetic creams (pack and product), reducing the fossil resources dependece to 100% and improving the end of the life of the plastic.
- Reducing food waste with more sustainable food transformation processes. The juice bottles will be manufactured for line adjustments, tests and certification including cold pasteurization and high pressure process (HPP). HPP neutralizes molecules that cause juice to spoil faster. This allows HPPtreated juice to last up to 45 days, roughly nine times longer than a freshly made cold-pressed juice, meaning consumers can expand the consumption time and reduce the waste of spoiled juice.
- Obtaining a full validation and pre-norm testing approval under a new commercial brand to ensure market uptake of the products developed. The CITRUSPACK products will aim at covering all consumer needs and shall obtain all necessary certifications, including those concerning transparency and trustworthiness.
- To test and quantify the market acceptance through in-store consumer experience with the goal of collecting feedback from at least 1000 consumers.
From vegetal by-product to bottle
These vegetal side products, which origin is based on transformation processes, will be used as natural additives for the reinforcement of 100% biodegradable plastic bottles and containers. In addition, the cycle is completed using other elements for creams composition.
In this way the project intends to valorise a maximum 80% of the raw material generated in the transformation process.
At the end of the project researchers and participating companies will offer three solutions with high added value into the packaging and cosmetic sector. The juice bottles will be the first demonstrator.
“These bottles will be manufactured by blown extrusion. We want to test and quantify the acceptance of consumers during the project to reach the market”. Carolina Peñalva, Project coordinator and Responsible for Packaging at Aitiip Technology Centre.
Besides being biobased and eco-friendly, bottles will have to comply with very serious technical requirements.
In addition creams with natural additives from these by-products will be fabricated. The packaging will be also reinforced with the same material than the bottles.
This project is coordinated by Aitiip and accounts with the partnership of AMC Innova Juice And Drinks S.L. (Spain), EROSKI (Spain), OWS Nv (Belgium), Plastipolis (France) and TECOS (Slovenia).
Citruspack is part of the LIFE Program, which is the only financial instrument of the European Union dedicated exclusively to the environment. Its overall objective for the period 2004-2020 is to contribute to the sustainable development and achievement of the objectives and targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the relevant Union strategies and plans on environment and climate.