Navigation path

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
  Atmosphere
  Biodiversity
  Clean technology and recycling
  Climate & global change
  Cultural heritage
  Earth Observation
  Ecosystems, incl. land, inland waters, marine
  Health & environment
  Land management
  Natural disasters
  Sustainable development
  Urban living
  Other
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
Transport

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Finland
  France
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lichtenstein
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Madagascar
  Malta
  Mexico
  Montenegro
  Morocco
  Namibia
  Netherlands
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Senegal
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Sri Lanka
  Swaziland
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Tanzania
  Tunisia
  Turkey
  Uganda
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States


   Environment

Last Update: 17-02-2014  
Related category(ies):
Innovation  |  Agriculture & food  |  International cooperation  |  Environment  |  Pure sciences

 

Countries involved in the project described in the article:
Argentina  |  Belgium  |  Brazil  |  Bulgaria  |  Honduras  |  Mexico  |  Netherlands  |  Portugal  |  Spain
Add to PDF "basket"

Squeezing every drop of efficiency from juice processing

Plastic packaging made from the fermented wastewater of processed juice could save industry millions in production costs and tap into growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly products.

Photo of a bottle of juice
© dp@pic fotolia

This is the goal of the EU-funded PHBOTTLE project, which is developing an innovative way of adding value to industrial residues and then developing these into a new biodegradable material.

“The main tangible result of the project will be a new bottle made of biodegradable material, which will be obtained through the fermentation of wastewater,” explains project coordinator Ana Valera. “The project should also contribute to the creation of new jobs, because new biotechnology facilities will be required to properly develop this new material.”

PHBOTTLE’s work should also provide additional economic benefits for Europe. Food packaging is one of the most visible sources of waste, with over 67 million tonnes generated in the EU every year. Cutting down this waste would mean reduced energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, as well as less waste treatment costs.

PHBOTTLE is focusing on juice processing wastewater because it contains high amounts of organic substances, including fermentable sugars such as glucose, fructose and maltose. The concentration of these fermentable sugars can reach 70% of the total organic load, which researchers believe makes juice wastewater an ideal and cheap source of raw material to produce PHB.

PHB is a type of biopolymer (an organic compound) that has several useful properties as a raw material for food packaging. It is moisture and vapour resistant, won’t dissolve on contact with water, has see-through properties and offers good protection against oxygen. All these factors help to stop food from spoiling. In other words, the compound is perfect for making biodegradable juice packaging.

Promoting green chemistry

Due for completion in 2015, PHBOTTLE will show how ‘green chemistry’ – a scientific approach to developing products and processes that reduce the use and generation of hazardous substances – can benefit European industry and consumers, and lead to new innovations.

Indeed, while the main target of PHBOTTLE is to develop new biodegradable food packaging solutions, potential non-food packaging uses, such as cosmetics, and even non-packaging applications such as automotive parts, will also be examined.

For researchers, PHBOTTLE is providing them with better insight into potential uses for waste materials across a range of sectors, and how these materials can best be processed.

Throughout the project, particular attention is being paid to the stability of food packed in the new material during storage. Food safety and quality is important in the development of the new materials and processes.

The consortium includes partners from Europe – Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands – and also Latin America – Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. “This project is also a very international one,” says Dr Valera. “This way we get the latest and best research practices not only from Europe. International partners will also help us disseminate the project's findings more widely at the end of the project in 2015,” she concludes.

 

Project details

  • Project acronym: PHBOTTLE
  • Participants: Spain (Coordinator), Netherlands, Mexico, Honduras, Bulgaria, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Portugal
  • Project FP7 280831
  • Total costs: € 4 152 769
  • EU contribution: € 2 873 649
  • Duration: May 2012 - October 2015

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

Project web site
Project information on CORDIS





  Top   Research Information Center