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Evaluating physiological and environmental consequences of using organic wastes after technological processing in diets for livestock and humans
EC contribution
: € 2.200.000
: 39 months
Starting date
: 01/04/2005
Funding scheme
: Specific Targeted Research Project
: plant-derived industrial by-products and waste, food and feed quality, food / feed additives, functional plant products, antimicrobial and antioxidative activity
Contract/Grant agreement number
: 513949
Project web-site


The food and herbal industries processing fruits, vegetables and other plants produce millions of tons of organic waste, by-products and residues annually. Today's technology for reusing these waste materials is very limited, and industry mostly disposes of them through composting or incineration, costing millions of Euros and contributing to environmental problems.
The European Union is searching for novel uses of organic waste materials. The Specific Targeted Research Project SAFEWASTES project combined 12 participants from seven countries who were working totargeted the development of innovative biotechnology for processing and purifying organic materials from the food and plant-based extracts industries. Several of the investigated by-products show still a remarkable antioxidative, antimicrobial or other beneficial activity to be used in food and feed additives with possible significant health benefits for animals and human beings. Despite effectiveness and a positive risk assessment only some selected materials are, however, useful due to economic reasons.


The industrial processing of fruits and vegetables as well as the extraction of herbs produces millions of tonnes of organic waste, by-products and residues annuallyeach year. These waste materials are costly and are mainly disposed through composting or combustion, costing millions of Euros and contributeing to environmental problems through pollution and methane emissions. One alternative use of such waste materials is nowadays the production of biofuels, especially biogas. But some of these organic residues might be too valuable to be disposed since they still contain a number of useful substances as e.g. polyphenols, galacturonids, flavonoids or terpenes which could lead to value- added by- or co-products.

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