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Revalorization strategies within the circular economy for the use of citrus waste in green packaging and cosmetics. 

Program: LIFE 16 

Duration: 36 months, July 2017 - June 2020

Coordinator: Carolina Peñalva, Aitiip Technology Center

CITRUSPACK aims to demonstrate that sustainability and efficiency can be applied to agricultural and industrial practices by developing the potential of waste in order to diversify and grow farmers/producers' income by means of its valorisation into a series of new value chains.

The specific objectives of CITRUSPACK are: 

Implementing a circular economy between all sectors involved: Maximize the use of citrus juice production waste side-stream by-products recovery by LIFE CITRUS* pilot line, demonstrating how natural fibres from peels can be used as a cheap and natural additive for the reinforcement for 100% biobased and biodegradable plastic bottles and jars. In addition, completing the cycle by using other substances from the pulp residues as natural antioxidants, pectins or essential oils in creams replacing other compounds.

The optimization of waste management in the citrus juice production through an innovative extraction process: turning waste into a resource, by recycling a waste currently considered valueless, by means of extracting natural fibres and pulp. Revalorising at least 80 % of the final AMC´s fruit agrowaste (orange, lemon and clementine).

Becoming a competitive market solution for biobased and biodegradable plastics: these plastics shall be competitive in the range of added-value products as premium juices (pack) or cosmetic creams (pack and product), reducing the fossil resources dependece to 100% and improving the end of the life of the plastic (knowhow coming from DIBBIOPACK FP7 project).

Biobased and biodegradable plastics
Biobased and biodegradable plastics

Reducing food waste with more sustainable food transformation processes. The juice bottles will be manufactured for line adjustments, tests and certification including cold pasteurization and high pressure process (HPP). HPP neutralizes molecules that cause juice to spoil faster. This allows HPP treated juice to last up to 45 days, roughly nine times longer than a freshly made cold-pressed juice, meaning consumers can expand the consumption time and reduce the waste of spoiled juice.

Obtaining a full validation and pre-norm testing approval under a new commercial brand to ensure market uptake of the products developed. The CITRUSPACK products will aim at covering all consumer needs and shall obtain all necessary certifications, including those concerning transparency and trustworthiness.

To test and quantify the market acceptance through in-store consumer experience with the goal of collecting feedback from at least 1000 consumers.

This project is coordinated by Aitiip. The following partners also participates in it: AMC Innova Juice And Drinks S.L., Eroski S. Coop., Organic Waste Systems Nv, Plastipolis, Slovenian Tool And Die Development Centre.

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