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High innovative added-value natural ingredients from sustainable emerging technologies

The project aims to obtain high added value natural ingredients from local plants using sustainable green-technologies. Sharing knowledge in separation technologies, supercritical fluid extraction and molecular distillation, will allow both companies to efficiently use resources to reach this goal

Europe has a big variety of plant species rich in interesting nutrients and active compounds which can be used in the production of ingredients for food, cosmetics and parapharmaceutical industries. Even though the majority of them are traditionally profited by industrial or domestic uses, some fractions obtained by alternative and sustainable processes are rather unexplored. Therefore, Natagredients project aims to explore the use of some typically European or Mediterranean natural plant sources, to produce fractions rich in active compounds, natural flavours, fragrances and added-value ingredients for healthy food. The intended application sectors are cosmetics, parapharmaceutical and food. The before mentioned fractions should be obtained by means of use of green technologies such as molecular distillation and supercritical CO2 extraction. It must be pointed out that supercritical CO2 solvent is GRAS. There would be cases where the use of certain solvents like alcohols (ethanol, glycerol) would be advisable, due to the characteristics of the targeted fractions. Then, these solvents will be preferentially acquired from a sustainable source (i.e. bioethanol). It is envisaged to use and combine the supercritical CO2 extraction and the molecular distillation trying to valorise each fraction, enhancing the integral use of the whole raw materials as a key point. The viability of these processes is evaluated taking into account economics, European rules, energetic and sustainable aspects. The expected added value is the improvement of quality, safety and specific properties in comparison to standard products based upon conventional ingredients. It is closely related to: -A high content on active compounds: antioxidants, proteins, phytosterols, unsaturated fatty acids, etc -Absence of unwanted substances (antinutrients, allergens, toxins, off-flavours, forbidden molecules) -New organoleptic and/or physico-chemical characteristics Among the interesting plant sources to be explored, there are preferently nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios) and aromatic plants (like lemon balm, thyme, helichrysum). All these raw materials are typically cropped and consumed in European countries, especially in the Mediterranean regions. Then to explore them would fulfil local and global traders requirements; as well as would give response to increasing needs of population that is specially aware of products’ quality, safety, health benefit and environment protection, among others. The partners of the project are Laboratoire Rosier-Davenne, LRD (France) and La Morella Nuts, LMN (Spain). LRD produces essential oils and natural blends from a wide variety of vegetable sources addressed to cosmetics and parapharmaceutical industries mainly. LMN produces ingredients, also from vegetable sources like nuts, seeds and fruits, for other food companies. Both companies are R&D performing and have a wide background in product and process development as well as in regulation fulfilment (EC, IFRA). The collaboration in Natagredients project give the opportunity to each company to exchange knowledge and techniques in supercritical fluid extraction and molecular distillation respectively, as well as, sharing analytical methodologies to optimize resources.
Acronym: 
Natagredients
Project ID: 
7 613
Start date: 
01-04-2012
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 500 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Chemistry
Market Area: 
Other food and beverages

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.