PHENOLEXA

Benign cascade extrative biorefinery for converting agri-food side streams into high-value polyphenolic bioactives and functional fibres for pharma, cosmeceuticals, nutraceuticals and food products.

Newsletter

 

PHENOLEXA Background

In the pursuit of a circular economy, it is important to identify and use feedstocks to their maximum potential and value.

Despite this, major inefficiencies are remaining in how we leverage what is available. In Europe’s agricultural sector – the largest producer of residual biomass – around half of this is currently wasted. In addition, much that is used finds its way to low- and mid-value applications such as biofuels, biomethane, composts, animal feed, platform chemicals and polymers. In part, this is because the feedstock is challenging to upcycle to higher-value products due to its varied and variable makeup, supply fluctuations, presenting a challenge also technologically.

Certain agricultural side streams – those from olives, wineries, pomegranates, citrus fruits, chicory, pineapples, berries and onions – are rich in phenolic bioactive ingredients. Many of these bioactives possess antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory properties, potentially even anticancer and antiviral activities. However, their full potential has yet to be realised, due to a lack of technologies capable of preserving the complexity and functionality of these compounds in a way that is safe, sustainable and can do so in financially viable quantities.

The PHENOLEXA project aims to develop a benign, efficient and environmentally friendly biorefinery process to address this challenge. By focusing on specific agricultural waste streams that are not currently fully exploited for high-value bioactive compounds. It will use a novel biological and physical feedstock pre-treatment followed by benign extraction using novel green solvents and subcritical water, maximising efficiency and preserving the desired qualities of the polyphenols. The ultimate goal is to see these used in pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical products.

 

Project Structure

project structure

The overarching objective of the PHENOLEXA project is to develop a benign, efficient and environmentally friendly biorefinery process to extract high-value polyphenolic bioactive compounds for high-value applications. Within this, the project will pursue a number of specific objectives.

… the impact of the PHENOLEXA project is likely to be substantial. It is focused on high-value applications with high product prices. As part of this, it will develop product prototypes to accelerate market uptake, provide the techno-economic validation to identify the most promising ingredients, bring the industrial players from the relevant sectors (pharma, food, cosmetics, nutraceuticals) for technology validation and business model designs for future market uptake. It will also develop business models for the PHENOLEXA ingredients obtained. For the agriculture sector, it will offer farmers of olive groves and vineyards an improved income stream for their agricultural wastes.

… the project’s focus on high-value sectors such as treatments for cancer, viruses, depression, and cardiovascular and skin wound healing, have the potential to prolong and improve quality of life. These will seek to become solutions in areas of high unmet need. In addition, PHENOLEXA will develop ingredients for cosmeceuticals, nutraceuticals, prebiotics and functional foods and drinks. It will help raise awareness of the health benefits of naturally sourced polyphenol products, reinforce the concept of zero waste by relying on natural, rather than synthetic, sources.

… the PHENOLEXA project will make use of biomass that currently is used for animal feed, composting or burning for fuel. There is growing evidence, however, that – despite being classed as ‘low carbon’ or ‘carbon neutral’ – burning biomass may contribute significantly to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and thus to global warming. By diverting these feedstocks for higher-value products will prevent them from being burned or being sent to landfill, which is also a source of GHGs.

The PHENOLEXA project is aiming at delivering a number of impacts that will contribute to the wider goals of the BBI-JU. These will include:

  • Establishing a wide range of new cross-sectoral interconnection between feedstock suppliers, technology developers, end-users and final consumers.
  • Developing eight value chains with 13 potential products with possible mid-value applications.
  • Validating 12 innovative technologies for processing specific agricultural side streams, in areas of biomass pre-treatment, extraction techniques, encapsulation techniques and fractionation methods. The pre-treatment represents its first use in targeting polyphenol procurement.
  • Demonstrating consumer products’ prototypes at laboratory scale including pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical products while also generating some functional fibres and colourants to be used in functional foods and beverages.
bionigree logo

Bionigree SP. Z O.O.

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Country: Poland

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Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika w Toruniu logo

Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika w Toruniu

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Country: Poland

Role in PHENOLEXA: # # # ## # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ## # #

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civita logo

Civitta Eesti AS # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ## # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Civitta is an innovation consultancy involved with a wide range of projects, including bioeconomy-related, and offering a full spectrum of services: strategy, innovation, funding, research, digital, implementation, and sustainability. # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ## # # # # # ##

Country: Estonia

Role in PHENOLEXA: To coordinate the project, to comopose and lead the exploitation strategy and support with ethics aspects. # # # ## # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ## # #

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Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche – Institute of Sciences of Food Production

The Institute of Sciences of Food Production (CNR-ISPA) is a center of excellence, worldwide renowned, acting in the fields of scientific research, innovation and technology transfer aimed to improve safety and quality of agro-food products # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Country: Italy

Role in PHENOLEXA: ISPA has the scientific coordination of the project, is WP5 leader and it is actively involved in WP3 and WP4 # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ##

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EPC project corporation for Climate. Sustainability. Communications.

EPC offers project management and target group specific promotion, including the development of communication strategies and their practical application and knowledge transfer in international renewables, climate and sustainability projects. # # # ### # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ##

Country: Germany

Role in PHENOLEXA: EPC leads the communication and dissemination in WP7 and will support long-term knowledge transfer of PHENOLEXA. # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

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Novatica Technologies Ltd # # # # # # # # # # # # # ## # # # # # # #

Novatica Technologies Ltd is a UK-based Research & Development, Consultancy, Training & Dissemination company that promotes and develops innovative technologies in three major domains: Clean Energy & Environment, Healthy Wellbeing & Longevity and Sustainable Economic Growth. # # # # # # # # # # # ##

Country: UK

Role in PHENOLEXA: To develop biorefinery sequence from feedstock supply chain development, pre-treatment, bioactives extraction to product formula, LCA & TEA analyses.#

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Celabor logo

Celabor Scrl # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Celabor is a Belgian SME offering scientific and technical support to companies in the field of agrifood (nutrition and extraction), packaging, environment and textiles. Celabor has more than 20 years of research experiences and has been involved in several EU and national projects. # # # # # # # ##

Country: Belgium

Role in PHENOLEXA: Optimization of the pulsed electric field pre-treatment as well as subcritical water extraction process. To lead the up-scaling process. # # # # # ##

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Chambre Regionale d’Agriculture Provence Alpes Côte Azur

CRAPACA is a consular organization managed by elected farmers. Its first role is to represent all the different economic agents of agriculture to public authorities and its second mission is to provide services such as technical advice, training, experimentation and demonstration to farmers. # # # #

Country: France

Role in PHENOLEXA: To contribute to the supply, inventory and sourcing of feedstocks (olive and vineyard) and to work on the economic and environmental assessment. # # #

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Fundacio Eurecat

EUT is the leading Technology Centre of Catalonia, providing companies with differential technology and advanced expertise. A total of 690 professionals generating a volume of income of 50M€ per year, Eurecat is involved in 200 projects of R&D national and international with high strategic value. ##

Country: Spain

Role in PHENOLEXA: Development, testing and optimization of extraction techniques; cognitive degeneration activities, studies in vitro/ in vivo of the bioactives # # # #

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Creaciones Aromaticas Industriales SA

CARINSA is focused on the creation and manufacture of all kinds of flavours, fragrances and additives for the food, feed and perfumery industry. The customer service is one of the key values in the organization which allows us to obtain a high degree of satisfaction and loyalty form our customers. #

Country: Spain

Role in PHENOLEXA: Bioactives encapsulation at industrial scale,integration in formulations and characterization of the microcapsules at industrial scale # # # # # # # #

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Fundacion Cartif

CARTIF is a multidisciplinary centre that works in multiple knowledge fields addressing research lines oriented to the main societal challenges, as industry 4.0, smart grids, smart cities, energy efficiency, cultural heritage, quality of life, circular economy, natural resources and biotechnology. #

Country: Spain

Role in PHENOLEXA: Lead the feedstock inventory, characterization and supply chain. Develop the spray drying encapsulation of BACs. And co-lead the LCA, LCC and S-LCA.#

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Loughborough University

Loughborough University (LU) is one of the leading research based universities in the UK. The Department of Chemistry at LU has an international reputation for research excellence and is well equipped to carry out research spanning all the traditional branches of chemistry and allied disciplines. #

Country: UK

Role in PHENOLEXA: LU contributes to WP3 on Functionalisation of the bioactives for higher value products, and will support partners in WP4 and WP7. # # # # # # # # # ##

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