European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Sustainable and cost-effective production process for the upcycling of olive, grape and nut by-products into 4 natural and healthy ingredients for nutraceutical and cosmetic applications

Project description

A second life for olive and grape by-products

Olive and grape processing produces a residual biomass which most of time remains underexploited. To tap the potential of this residual biomass, the EU-funded UP4HEALTH project aims to work on a zero-waste sustainable process for olive and grape pomace, nut by-products and olive pits. Their residue will be transformed into a natural fruit water rich in polyphenols, polyphenol-rich dietary fibres, natural oily fruit extracts and prebiotic xylooligosaccharides that will be used in functional food, nutraceutical supplements and cosmetics. What is more, the remaining solid fraction from the hydrolysis of the olive pits will be used to produce energy.


The UP4HEALTH project provides the demonstration at pre-industrial scale of an INTEGRATED BIOREFINERY for the recovery of valuable biomolecules from food processing by-products and their conversion into natural, healthy and sustainable high added-value products for the NUTRACEUTICALS and COSMETIC sectors. UP4HEALTH ingredients will be of suitable quality to meet market requirements of CONSUMERS and INDUSTRY in these sectors: consumers are demanding functional natural products and industry is demanding bio-based formulations for better performance and higher sustainability.
Olive and grape by-products are underexploited residual biomass rich in bioactive compounds, resulting in a great market opportunity for the UP4HEALTH project. Although existing technologies are promising for the recovery of high added-value ingredients inside the food chain, products from the valorisation of food by-products are still rather limited in the market. The main challenge is to validate an appropriate business model for the affordable upgrading at large scale of a wide variety in composition of by-products from the food processing industry, overcoming bottlenecks like logistic issues and investment costs.
UP4HEALTH upcycling process integrates a unique ZERO WASTE sustainable process for 4 locally available Mediterranean feedstocks from food processing (olive pomace, grape pomace, nut by-products and olive pits) to deliver 4 ORGANIC, NATURAL, SUSTAINABLE & HEALTHY INGREDIENTS: natural fruit water rich in polyphenols, polyphenol-rich dietary fibre, fruit natural oily extracts and prebiotic Xylooligosaccharides. UP4HEALTH ingredients will be integrated intofunctional food, nutraceutical supplements and cosmetics, targeting a wide niche population. The remaining solid fraction from the hydrolysis of the olive pits is intended to be used for energy production responding to the concept of BIOREFINERY, since biomass will be processed into a spectrum of bio-based products and bioenergy.


Net EU contribution
€ 758 702,66
31100 Puenta La Reina

See on map


The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Noreste Comunidad Foral de Navarra Navarra
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 1 140 906,25

Participants (9)