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EXTRANAT Project: Environmentally Friendly Fruit Extraction using Supercritical Fluids Technology

The last century has witnessed major advances in food science and technology and in nutrition. Indeed innovations have dramatically improved the quality, safety, and availability of food products, meaning a better quality of life for consumers. Nevertheless, much remains to be done.

The last century has witnessed major advances in food science and technology and in nutrition. Indeed innovations have dramatically improved the quality, safety, and availability of food products, meaning a better quality of life for consumers. On the other hand, over the last years the protection of the environment has become a major concern for mankind and thus important progress has been achieved in order to produce foods with the higher respect for Nature. Nevertheless, much remains to be done. The food and drink industry transforms agricultural raw materials into safe, convenient, good tasting and nutritious products for consumers. It is a diverse industry that ranges from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to multinationals. For the vegetable and fruit industry, preserving the environment in which the raw materials are grown has always been a predominant concern. With the advances of science and technology, new ways of dealing with the challenges of sustainable development have become possible. But even today, the food industry has still a major problem of waste removal. At present, one of the main problems of SMEs processing vegetables for food is waste management. However, waste produced by these companies can be recycled into added value products, since it contains a significant percentage of functional compounds. These compounds - flavonoids, phenolic acids and anthocyanidins among others - show anti-oxidant properties and can be used as natural colour and flavour additives. The main objective of this project is to develop and implement a highly selective and environmentally friendly method to extract these compounds from fruit waste, based upon the Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) technique. The potential advantages of this objective are: • reduction of the costs for waste management • a considerable valorisation of fruit waste. This reduction of costs related to management of waste and to the opening of new markets will actively help protecting the environment and will increase competitiveness notably. This innovative approach is expected to be rapidly adopted by many in their industrial sector, thus spreading the environmental, technical and socio-economic benefits of EXTRANAT throughout Europe. Reducing the costs of waste management and broadening the product range of the SMEs from this sector will place them in a privileged position to face the larger enterprises’ competition. This will be done with a very innovative and scientifically sound approach. The main scientific and technical objectives are: • Design, Develop and Implement a reliable and accessible method to extract phytochemicals from food industry wastes • Analyze the anti-oxidant and organoleptic activities of the final products • Set the final product quality parameters and composition in order to fit the final user requests. The SFE technology will enable food-processing industry to reduce their quantity of waste. Indeed SFE residuals do not contain any organic solvent, are neither toxic nor hazardous. The EXTRANAT project thus promotes a friendlier environment. The main innovation of the EXTRANAT project will be the selective extraction of vitamins and other types of phytochemicals, which has never been implemented on citrus fruits, berries or other fruits such as pear, apple and apricot. These compounds -flavonoids, phenolic acids and anthocyanidins among others - show anti-oxidant properties and can be used as natural colour and flavour additives. Moreover it has been demonstrated that these substances play an important role in the protection against the development of various pathological conditions such as cancer, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Fruits and natural extracts are well known for being part of a healthy diet. They contain functional compounds such as vitamins, anti-oxidants, or dietetic fibre that have principally anti-cancer and cardio-protector properties. Some of these phytochemicals are listed below, grouped by its chemical classification. Flavonoids such as catechins, theaflavins, coumarin, quercetin, myricetin… can be found in tea, berries, wine, carrot, citrus fruit, nuts, pear, apple, endive, cranberry, broccoli, onion, kale, leaf lettuce and green bean. Phenolic acids such as ellagic acid, gallic acid, ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, neochlorogenic acid, caffeic acid can be found in blueberry, pear, sweet cherry, apple, orange, grapefruit, white potato, grape juice, coffee beans, prune, strawberry and raspberry Anthocyanidins such as cyanidin, delphinidin, and pelargonidin can be found in blueberry, plum, blackcurrant, raspberry and cranberry. Monoterpenes such as mycrene, d-Limonene, carvone can be found in citrus fruit, peppers, basil, thyme, caraway, whole grains. Triterpenes such as glycyrrhizin, 6-gingerol, zingiberene can be found in citrus fruit, soy, liquorice. The use of functional compounds in nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications requires a total absence of organic compounds, which has proven to be reached by using the supercritical fluids extraction (SFE) technology. Anti-oxidants and vitamins found in fruits are compounds with enormous potentials in the nutraceutical market. They can scavenge reactive oxidation by-products such as free radicals, peroxidation products and quench reactive oxygen spaces (ROS). The EXTRANAT consortium is constituted by eight SMEs, one larger company acting as final user and two RTD performers. The partners are coming from six different EU member states: France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Spain.

Countries

Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy