Nutreco Feed Tech Challenge 2018

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FruitFeed: Fruit cost-effective processing by-products as raw materials for the production of functional, safe, and high dietetic value animal feed under the frame of circular bioeconomy



The main target of this project is to provide a holistic approach for valorization of fruit processing by-products primarly citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin), apples, pear, peaches, cherries, grapes, prickly pear etc. using innovative and eco-friendly methods. The objectives of the project are:

    Low cost and sustainable management of every generated waste flow streams.

    Use of sustainable processes that are compatible with environmental aspects (GREEN technologies) for the extraction of bioactive from fruit processing by-products.

    Production of high-added nutritional value animal feed in pellet form produced through extrusion cooking.

    Environmentally sustainable solutions through the reduction of carbon footprint and a better valorization of the primary agricultural production.

    Promotion of circular bioeconomy



Describe the problem your company wishes to solve and how your product or service will solve it


Meeting the present society’s food needs, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, represents the main goal of the sustainable agriculture. However, nowadays the agricultural fruit production & processing is representing a paradox: while the global population growth is critically challenging the use of agricultural land, the juice industry is wasting more than half of the fruit itself. This fact is not only affecting the economical sustainability of the fruit-juice manufacturing but is also strongly interfering with a sustainable concept of agricultural production. Once the land is used for agricultural production, but this production is not used entirely and/or exploited to its full potential, then it can be easily concluded that overall, more land than actually necessary has to be used. Even more, nowadays the fruit juice resulting by- products are most of the time   landfilled, causing tremendous environmental problems. Thus, finding for these fruit – juice by products innovative added value processing and food applications for which a high and growing commercial interest exist, represents an emergent necessity for ensuring the sustainability of the agricultural and industrial fruit sectors. Fruit processing manufacturing chain includes primarily juice and canning industry, where after treatments such as stone removal, unpeeling, pressing and filtering, a 50-80% of the feeding volume is discarded as waste, depending on the processed fruit type. This fact leads to billions tones of wastes annually. These materials should be reconsidered as by-products than wastes because of their unique consistency and high content in valuable compounds.  The proposed project aims to establish efficient methodologies for fruit processing waste management and promote novel methods technologies to reduce agro-food industry waste along all the whole food value chain. Moreover, advanced technologies for separation and valorization of juice industry waste streams will be developed to produce functional and safe animal feed rich in bioactive compounds ie antioxidants, pigments, phenolic compounds, essential oils, oligo-saccharides and fibers.


Treatment of fruit processing by-products causing severe environmental pollution in juice producing areas, will be approached as an “overall problem” to solve. The implementation of this project will reduce the environmental impact by reducing the volume of solid and liquid by-products and converting it to high value feed ingredients. Such by-products could be considered as useful-by products, whose valorization will include recovery of valuable compounds for further exploitation, as well as production of innovative products such as functional animal feed. The applied sustainable extraction technologies for the recovery of bioactive compounds are consistent with the green chemistry principles. The compounds could be used as such or encapsulated through electrohydrodynamic processing and spray drying, in order to protect the bioactives, increase their shelf-life and achieve their controlled release. The proposed extraction and encapsulation techniques are considered as cutting edge solutions. It should be noted that the final proposed processes for waste management will be compatible with manufacturing principles, so that to be easily incorporated in fruit processing manufacturing chain.


The expected outputs of the implementation of the project include:

üEnvironmental impacts 

       Reduction of the volume of fruit processing by-products.

       Reduction of the overall use of the agricultural land by providing a better valorization of the primary production 

        Use of environmentally friendly technologies for the extraction of valuable compounds.

       Analysis of the contribution of the life cycle stages to the overall environmental load of the applied processes and products in order to examine the environmental performance, identify the environmental problems and optimize the processes in order to minimize the environmental impact at a reasonable cost.

üEconomic impacts

         Introduction of processes that can be easily integrated in the            fruit processing industry in a cost effective way.

       Economic renewal for the EU rural regions where primarily fruit processing plants are established.

       Open new markets (Enhance European manufacturing sector (SMEs),by increasing the competitiveness of the companies, both on national and international market, based on a common development strategy.

üHealth impacts




       Produce Healthier Animal Feeds/High Nutrition Products that will improve the health of livestock, increase their population, increase the breeders income by producing products of high quality and added value




Describe other business assistance that you are seeking from Nutreco


KPAD suggests to Nutreco to jointly examine FruitFeed (and other KPAD technologies) business exploitation, commercialization, upscaling business and attracting external investment.


Are you available to participate in the final event in the Netherlands 28, 29, and 30 May? All expenses will be covered by Nutreco


Describe how the prize - a validation trial in our facilities - could boost the development of your business

KPAD people believe that the prize - and validation trial in Nutreco facilities will enormously facilitate FruitFeed commercialization and to attract venture capital for business upscaling

If you already have a website for your business, please share the URL

edited on Mar 30, 2018 by Panagiotis Stavrakakis

teresa debesa 3 months ago

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

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Panagiotis Stavrakakis 3 months ago

Thanks Teresa for your feedback

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teresa debesa 3 months ago

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

Reply 0

teresa debesa 3 months ago

Status label added: Full business case submitted

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Panagiotis Stavrakakis 3 months ago

Thanks Teresa for your update!

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Khalil Safaei 3 months ago

Good luck!

Reply 1

Panagiotis Stavrakakis 3 months ago

Thanks Khalil

Reply 0