Natac is coordinating
the OLEAF4VALUE project, a
research and innovation action (RIA) funded by the European Union (H2020
-JTI-BBI) focused on tackling the problem generated by olive biomass through
the development of a complete olive leaf upcycling system.
Olive LEAF multi-product cascade based biorefinery: from an under-used biomass in the
primary sector to tailor-made solutions with high added VALUE for international market applications.
The OLEAF4VALUE consortium is composed of sixteen partners: six
Research Technology Organisations (RTOs), seven Small and Medium Enterprises
(SMEs), and three Large Enterprise (Les), from nine different countries
throughout Europe (Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia,
Spain, Switzerland and UK).
OLEAF4VALUE is a three-year project
that will develop a complete valorisation system for the olive leaf. Globally,
4.5 million tons of olive leaves are produced every year by the olive oil
industry, a key industry in southern Europe and along the Mediterranean basin.
This biomass represents a challengefor both the farmers and the whole olive oil
industry, who need to remove it from the fields and the olive oil mills. Olive
leaves may generatecurrently an environmental and economic problem when not
collected. OLEAF4VALUE will assemble a competitive consortium of highly
experienced partners* devoted to the complete valorisation of this
underexploited raw material.
The goal of OLEAF4VALUE is to set up the basis of a
smart value chain based on a disruptive and first-of-its kind concept: Smart Dynamic
Multi-Valorisation-Route Biorefinery (SAMBIO) for the cascade valorisation
of the olive leaf biomass according to its physicochemical composition,
particularly modulated by specific pre-treatments to produce target products.
Advanced green extraction and isolation technologies will be used to
sequentially separate all fractions and compounds of value, with a zero-waste
approach. Enzymatic biotransformation and nanoencapsulation technologies will
be applied to develop tailor-made prototypes according to end user market needs
from high value sectors: food, feed, health, cosmetic, pharma, and chemical
industries. Large companies from these sectors within the consortium will
guarantee a good market-oriented approach throughout the project.
With a total budget of 5,687,060 €, the OLEAF4VALUE project
will address all the stages of the value chain: raw material, biorefining,
post-extraction technologies, market validation, and sustainability assessment.
The OLEAF4VALUE project
will start in July 2021 and will link the primary olive sector from southern
Europe with large multinationals from the high valued competitive markets in a
circular bioeconomy project.
Natac is a biotech group dedicated to researching, developing,
manufacturing, and marketing plant extracts and functional lipids to use as
ingredients in nutraceuticals, functional food, feed, cosmetics, and as natural,
active pharmaceutical ingredients. Since its foundation, Natac has focused on
the valorisation of agro-industrial biomasses through recovery of valuable
compounds in the framework of current bioeconomy and circular economy strategies.