27 October 2021
The Pro-Enrich project has been a very positive and impactful experience for InnoRenew Centre of Excellence (CoE).
In March 2017 during a COST Action Training School event held at the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) on ‘Utilisation of fibres from renewable resources’, Dr. Schwarzkopf was introduced to the institute and DTI team. After a tour of the facilities, discussions began regarding a new project utilizing DTI’s biorefining facilities and regionally important by-products from food manufacturing. Coming from the Slovenian portion of Istria, Dr. Schwarzkopf proposed two by-products from olive oil production, olive pomace and olive mill wastewater, as potential feedstocks that could be of interest for the project. From this point onwards InnoRenew CoE was involved in the Pro-Enrich project.
During the project lifetime InnoRenew CoE was responsible for the chemical characterization of raw materials, analysis of biorefining treatments, and Pro-Enrich extracts like proteins and polyphenolics. To achieve this, InnoRenew CoE dedicated funds from the newly started InnoRenew project (H2020 WIDESPREAD-2-Teaming: #739574) to purchase state-of-the-art analysis equipment. Dr. Kelly Peeters and Dr. Ana Miklavčič Višnjevec employed at InnoRenew CoE and the University of Primorska, respectively, were the two primary researchers heading up the creation of the laboratories dedicated to this equipment, managed their use, and led analyses.
These labs have been busy working on the Pro-Enrich project for the last three years providing valuable feedback to biorefining processes and industrial users of proteins and polyphenolic extracts. Further, the labs have been used for training and educating student workers in the fields of analytical chemistry and biorefining, and building a strong portfolio of analytical capabilities and knowledge for future projects.
In this way, the Pro-Enrich project gave InnoRenew CoE the opportunity to showcase its technical skills and reliability as a partner in innovative project work. This success has led to involvement in many subsequent projects and consortia for InnoRenew CoE.
InnoRenew CoE chemically characterizes agro-food waste streams