On Tuesday, June 21st, the Valorafood project consortium held a final meeting to present the results and opportunities obtained throughout all the actions and tests carried out.
The session, which was held at the Serhs Food facilities in Mataró, focused on the results of the project, and was divided into sections, where each member of the consortium presented the work carried out.
Peixos Puignau explained the opportunities obtained by taking advantage of surpluses, Radi SL brought all kinds of by-products of cod, shrimp, and salmon to taste and explain, IRTA developed all the technical details about which technologies have been studied for the creation of by-products and, finally, the Foodservice Cluster explained what the continuity of the project could be like and where it should continue working.
The Valorafood project
Performs the analysis of technologies and trends in the sector for the transformation of food surpluses into by-products.
Over the last few months, the project consortium has carried out 3 visits and meetings to develop the stated objectives: the visit to the atomizers of the APC Europe plant – Essentia Protein Solutions, the Seafood Global Expo and the IRTA Pulse Combustion Drying.
The operational group of the project is made up of IRTA, RADI S.L, Serhs Food, Gustos Meritem and Peixos Puignau. Valorafood is an initiative that focuses on getting to know the fishing and industrial sector of fish processing, through meetings, visits, focus groups, immersive workshops, etc. to identify the real surpluses that fish processing companies have; and design the guidelines to revalue surpluses in the form of new previously agreed products.
This system can be extrapolated to other subsectors such as agriculture and livestock. Before entering a pilot project to develop innovative products with a high nutritional value, it is necessary to amend several challenges that we are currently unaware of:
- Quantification of the surplus of the species to be valued.
- Quantification of the volumes, regularity, specialization of the different species to revalue
- Productive design (formula, processing, storage, etc.) of the different products to be valued according to the selected species.
- Features of the product that it should have to be used by the Pulse Combustion Dryer technology or other technologies.
- Technical and economic feasibility of the designed products.
To respond to these main challenges, 3 main visits and studies have been organized. The first was carried out in the atomizers of the APC Europe – Essentia Protein Solutions plant, a global producer of protein solutions of animal origin for the food industry. All Essentia ingredients are derived from natural raw materials, mainly pork, and from beef, chicken, lamb, and fish. The methods for obtaining the protein solutions used at the plant in Catalonia are based on a simple system of separation and atomization of blood, which is the raw material for obtaining protein powders with high added value. Throughout the visit, the representatives of the operational group were able to learn about the main functionalities of the sprayers.
The second action carried out within the framework of the project was the visit to the Seafood Expo Global, where the operating group was able to analyze international trends in shellfish, the management of surpluses and the production of innovative by-products. Of the different internal visits that were made, the representatives visited the associate of the Iceland Seafood Cluster, the Icelandic delegation with which we are in contact in the context of the project, or Balfegó.
The third and last visit of this first phase of the project was in the IRTA building in Monells, to learn about the operation and applications of the Pulse Combustion Dryer (PCD), an emerging technology where the evaporation of the product liquid by direct combustion is found inside a drying chamber. Unlike other drying systems, the PCD is a system that increases productivity and maximizes the use of primary energy, improving heat transfer and reducing polluting emissions.