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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FIBRACEP (“Valorization of European onion waste by-products into dietary fibre-based formula with hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, and antioxidant effects”)
H2020

FIBRACEP Report Summary

Project ID: 782061

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FIBRACEP (“Valorization of European onion waste by-products into dietary fibre-based formula with hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, and antioxidant effects”)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2018-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Dietary Molecular Diagnostics, S.L. (BIOMEB), http://www.biomeb.com, a spin-off of the University of Lleida, identified a commercial opportunity, offering sustainability on the use of onion-waste via their patented bioactive product FIBRACEP®: a new dietary fibre-based formula obtained from onion agricultural by-products with scientifically validated reduction of cholesterol absorption in the intestine and proven increase of HDL-cholesterol levels, which means a clear breakthrough (both in terms of health impacts and costs) compared to best available commercial products.
Being onions the second most important horticultural crop in the world (86 million tonnes, FAO 2014), production of onion waste has risen over recent years in Europe. More than 500,000 tonnes of onion waste are generated in the EU each year, above all in Spain, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, becoming and economic and environmental problem. Globally, according to the World Health Organisation, a third of ischaemic heart disease is attributable to high cholesterol, and in high-income countries, over 50% of adults have high total cholesterol.
The goal of this SME Instrument Phase 1 project was to elaborate a detailed feasibility assessment and business plan for the internationalization and expansion of BIOMEB in the area of onion-waste use for nutraceutical products production. FIBRACEP® is a patented and innovative production method for obtaining anti-cholesterol active substances from onion waste that are effective to modulate the risk of metabolic syndrome development, by acting on several of its components.
The feasibility assessment developed during this project confirms the technical and economic viability of FIBRACEP® for its commercialization as a food for special medical purposes and as an ingredient in functional foods. A comprehensive updated Business Plan integrating FIBRACEP® outcomes was elaborated.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Our objectives during this SME-1 project were:
- Further validate customer demand (customer´s voice) for both direct commercialisation food products, ingredient in functional foods, and encapsulated formula.
- Further reinforce and supply chain members already reached agreements, EU expansion: onion-producers.
- Develop an elaborated path to market: route to commercialisation:
o Assess the technological and economic viability gaps of FIBRACEP® direct commercialisation.
o Assess the technological and economic viability gaps of FIBRACEP as an ingredient in functional foods.
o Assess the technological and economic viability gaps of FIBRACEP® encapsulated formula.

Overview of Work Done.
From a general point of view, our partners thinks that consumers demand for additional benefits that go beyond basic nutrition are catered by functional foods and health supplements containing dietary fibres. Also, our partners see high consumer awareness about the foods they eat and the quality of the ingredients which is driving demand for dietary fibres.
Health conscious consumers driven by raising disposable incomes and changing lifestyle is creating demand for nutritional foods and in turn, the dietary fibres demand in functional foods and supplements. The increasingly ageing population is also driving the use of dietary supplements.
Consumers around the world are becoming increasingly health consciousness. They are shifting their preference from normal foods to foods that provide additional health benefits. The trend is visible not only in the developed regions, such as North America and Europe, but also in the developing regions, like Asia-Pacific, where consumers prefer fibre-rich noodles sold. The case is similar for processed meat and dairy products.

We contacted with the European onion association (EURONION) and now, we’re exploring several options in order to establish permanent and long-lasting partnerships.

Focusing efforts to the dietary supplements market, finally, we discarded the FIBRACEP encapsulated formula development. The low density of the product, apart from its posology, makes it infeasible for formulations in capsules or tablets. Despite this, we signed an agreement with other Spanish partner in order to explore the viability of a food for "special medical purposes" with FIBRACEP. We both validated the concept of develop a new Food for special medical purposes for the dietary management of the Metabolic syndrome (MetS) components. The final product concept is to develop a unique powder mix of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre called FIBRACEP.

We've developed some tests using FIBRACEP as an ingredient in different foods: sausages, burguers and bread, in collaboration with several partners. The feasibility assessment developed during this project confirms the technical and economic viability of FIBRACEP for its commercialization as an ingredient in new functional foods.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Several studies indicate that more than 500,000 tons of onion waste are generated in Europe each year, a situation that is projected to worsen due to the current trend of growing demand in the processed onion market. These types of waste cause the spread of pests and diseases in crops.
European Regulation requires the management of agricultural production waste, most of which are reused as organic feed or fertilizers, but in this case, onions cannot be used for this type of products due to the strong aroma that they give off and fast development of phytopathogenic agents. Therefore, making use of onion waste will have a great positive impact on the environment, thus offering a solution to the existing problem.
Given that in Spain are grown around 1.25 million tons of onion annually, being the second largest producer in Europe, and that producers in most cases are forced to pay for the destruction of generated waste, the reuse of onion waste will offer a new income channel for onion producers, thus increasing the profitability of this type of agriculture.
It should also be taken into account that FIBRACEP will reduce cholesterol to people with cardiovascular risks, thus delaying its inclusion in pharmacological treatments, which will lead to significant health savings.
FIBRACEP offers a solution to these problems wich have a high social, health and environmental impact.

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