Portuguese version available here
How can we enable the valorisation of 100% of the wastes from fruit processing industries? The answer is on the project AgroGrIN Tech, carried out by scientists from the research center CBQF/ESB/UCP, which won the 2019 edition of the Born from Knowledge Ideas contest, in the category of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change. Promoted by the National Innovation Agency (ANI), this contest goal is to bring together the best business ideas "born from knowledge" - scientific and/or technological.
Débora Campos, along with the students Ana Vilas Boas, Ricardo Goméz-García and the PhDs Ezequiel Coscueta and Pedro Castro, coordinated by Manuela Pintado, are the scientists behind this innovative project, which offers a patented downstream process that allows the recovery of valuable compounds from wastes from fruit processing industries. For Débora Campos “this award gives high visibility to AgroGrIN Tech and increases our confidence in the commercial potential of this process”, adding, “this award will allow us to deepen our business skills by participating in the BfK Rise acceleration program”.
Everything started with the use of pineapple residues, and the result was the extraction of high added-value ingredients. This experience lead to the sustainable use of resources, helping to shift from a linear to a circular economy. This sustainable strategy helped to achieve “zero waste” in fruit processing industries, showing social involvement and responsibility. In addition, this technology also enables the inclusion in the food chain of natural and healthy ingredients, by helping consumers to make informed nutritional choices. The thing is that this process is also applicable to other fruits.
From the economic point of view, the incorporation of this technology reduces losses while increasing profit margins, generating new revenue streams and markets through the new ingredients. From an environmental point of view, the technology allows at least a 60% reduction in wastes, preventing pollution and the inefficient use of resources. Finally, the AgroGrIN Tech contributes to increase entrepreneurship and innovation in the food sector, serving as an example of a project of high economic potential generated in academia.
The winners of this award have access to a Science and Technology acceleration program (BfK Rise), which aims to transform the business potential of ideas into products. BfK Rise is a Science and Technology Acceleration Program for valuing Research & Development results and technologies originating in the National Scientific and Technological System with commercialization potential.
Born from Knowledge
Born from Knowledge is promoted under the SIAC - Knowledge Transfer Initiative, co-funded by COMPETE 2020, through Portugal 2020 and the European Regional Development Fund. This competition aims to distinguish the business ideas coming from Portuguese Higher Education Institutions, encouraging and supporting the work developed by these Institutions.