Assessment and dissemination of strategies for the extraction of bioactive compounds from tomato, olive, and grape processing residues

Funding: SSA (Specific Support Action) in the 6th EU Framework Programme
Project Duration: 01.11.2006 - 31.10.2008
Project Manager: Marie Shrestha

Cultivation and processing of tomato, olive, and grape are the main agricultural businesses in the South European countries. Production of tomato paste, olive oil, and grape juice/wine, respectively, lead to the generation of millions of tons of processing residues, which are still rich sources of bioactive compounds: high-valuable oils, dietary fibre, vitamins and several secondary plant constituents are interesting food additives (i.e. colorants, antioxidants) or cosmetic ingredients.

The extraction and purification of these natural components from very cheap and reliable raw materials can pose an alternative prospect for a profitable utilisation of processing residues and can, in parallel, enhance allocation of natural ingredients on the European market.

The main objectives of the SSA project BIOACTIVE-NET are:

  1. to create a broad information platform for dissemination of research results and state of the art regarding the extraction of bioactive compounds from tomato, olive, and grape processing residues as well as their application facilities in the food and cosmetic industry,

  2. to implement dissemination workshops in the South European countries (Spain, Italy, Greece and France) aimed at transferring know-how and evaluating economic feasibilities of the extraction of bioactive compounds to the residue generating companies (SMEs), technology providers, industrial residue extractors and the end-users of the respective natural ingredients,

  3. to strengthen the European market on natural ingredients, which have an enormous economic potential due to high availability of the raw materials, by offering new challenges for the development of healthy food or cosmetic products and pre-empting the strong competition from third countries such as the US.