Gémina takes part in the AGRIMAX Project to create a sustainable Europe

AGRIMAX has chosen Gémina I+D to participate in this European project because of its experience in engineering and food technology and its contribution to improve the processes in the processing lines of the Spanish pilot plant which will be opened shortly promoted by the AGRIMAX consortium.

Conversion of residues from crops and food processing to useful and high value products

To know the information about the quantity of food that is wasted is more common nowadays. It is almost a third part of all the produced food every year. Around the half of these residues comes from agriculture and food processing industry.

In Europe, more than 90 million tonnes of food and 700 million tonnes of crops are wasted. This information is alarming, but AGRIMAX has created one of the best solutions, a four years project funded by the European Union, which is now in its culmination stage and whose main objective is the problem of food waste in Europe. 29 partners of 11 European countries have taken part in AGRIMAX and work to develop high-added value products from crops and food processing waste. In conclusion, AGRIMAX expects to make the most of the sub-products and co-products from agricultural and food industries minimizing the environmental impact because their substances have great potential and economic value.

There are plans to create two pilot plants in a complementary way to take the residues and by-products and process them in two pilot bio-refineries. These pioneer bio-refineries have been designed to be located in Italy and Spain. Italy will process the residues from tomatoes and cereals. In Spain, the bio refinery located in Lleida will process the residues from olive and potato crops with the objective of turning the 40% of the residues into high value materials.

Gémina I+D in collaboration with Gémina Procesos Alimentarios has been chosen by Agrimax to develop the Spanish pilot plant because Gémina is specialised in design, making of innovative solutions and processing and packaging equipment. As well as counting on Gémina’s Know How in innovative high-tech processes. In the Spanish plant, the engineering of processes will be carried out according to AGRIMAX instructions about the use of olive and potato co-products. European producers will send samples of waste products and co-products to evaluate their reutilization, considering the foreseeable increase in the value of these materials and their possible economic profitability.

Gémina offers the design of solid-liquid extraction and filtration lines, thermal, enzymatic and mechanical separation treatments and ion exchange columns and absorption columns, as well as micro-filtration, ultra-filtration and nano-filtration.

The innovative products obtained through these processes are containers based on agriculture products and food ingredients that strengthen or enrich other food. Polyphenols stand out among them for their antioxidant capacity, which is very beneficial for health. Other purposes are to make protein concentrates, recover scents, food fibres and other useful products as food complements, additives or other food products.

Gémina contributes to improve the processing lines basing on a preliminary design for their implantation in the pilot plant. Besides, Gémina works in the implementation of the project and gives its scientific and technical knowledge to improve the processes, cooperating with other important European engineering companies who take part in this project.

The AGRIMAX project is included in the EU’s horizon 2020 project.

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