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An unprecedented water-recycling system for washing, rinsing and drying of thermal insulated containers within the Food Industry

Project description

A fast, cheap way to clean food containers

Thermal insulated containers used by food retailers to safely transport their products are cleaned at logistic centres and reused multiple times. Container cleaning is a critical step in food operations and poses challenges such as effectiveness, cost and environmental impact of the cleaning. The EU-funded OPTAINER project proposes the first automated modular cleaning station that can be perfectly integrated into the logistic centres of food retailers. The water-recycling system washes, rinses and dries food containers fast, at low cost, and with low energy and water consumption. OPTAINER ensures that perfectly cleaned and safe containers are used for the transportation of temperature-controlled foods to retail stores.


Big food retailers use thermic insulated containers for the safe and efficient transportation of temperature-controlled food to retail stores facilities. These containers are cleaned in the logistic centers and reused countless number of times to ship food over and over again. Container cleaning is a crucial step in food operations and aspects like the effectiveness of the cleaning, the cost-efficiency of the process, the environmental impact and the water remaining in the container after the cleaning are of great importance.
Optainer is an automated modular cleaning station that can be perfectly integrated into the logistic chains of food retailers. This is the first automated solution that can wash, rinse and dry food containers very fast (1’ 40’’), at low cost (around 0.5 €/container), with low energy (1 kWh/container) and low fresh water consumption (<4 l/container of fresh water). Food retailers will save money, water and energy and they neither will spend too much time cleaning containers nor will have to allocate a part of their workforce to these activities. At the same time, they will be sure that containers are perfectly cleaned and the process is automatically controlled.
We are LVP Engineering and Constructions, a Belgian company bringing experience 40 years in the development and construction of machines for several industries. OPTAINER will be the flagship product of LVP Cleantec, a series of machines for the automated cleaning of insulated food containers, a field in which we are leaders. Standing out of competitive solutions, OPTAINER will foster our business (we estimate 109.1 M€ turnover in the 5th year of commercialization and 123 new jobs in the company). At the same we will reduce energy and water consumption of a process that is suboptimal and risky.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 813 619,50
9140 Temse

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

Vlaams Gewest Prov. Oost-Vlaanderen Arr. Sint-Niklaas
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 2 590 885,00