PROJECT OBJETIVES

1.  To demonstrate in a semi-industrial scale plant the effectiveness of an innovative industrial process, able to obtain natural ingredients from discarded parts of citrus fruits (lemon, orange, grapefruit and tangerine), validating its economical and financial balance and its feasibility. This raw material is currently a residue of the citrus transformation industry and fresh citrus fruit packing, which could be valorised with the proposed process, in the respect of the existing environmental laws, with economic profit and generating a decisive waste reduction estimated around 80% of current volume.

2.  To disseminate among European citrus farmers, marketers and industries, relative associations and public bodies the concept that citrus industry scrap may be seen no longer as a polluting agro-industrial residue but as a valuable natural raw material. It will be demonstrated that new process offers to the sector improvement opportunities, adding value to the citrus products and valorising and minimizing industrial waste.

3.  To promote the use of healthy “clean label” ingredients in agro-food industry. The proposed process generates gelling agents not labelled with an “E-number”, usable as a natural ingredient in many food products, replacing alternative “E-number” additives. If raw material (citrus industry residues) comes from a biological certified growing and processing, a biological gelling agent can be obtained.

4.  To facilitate the preparation of low-calorie jams, jellies, juices and other food products (canned vegetables, bakery, pastry, beverages, etc.) and to disseminate this knowledge to regional, Spanish and European food industry. Gelling agents obtained in the proposed innovative process, unlike usual additives, react in the absence of sugar, allowing gelling light products. Specifically, a biological certificated new process should be able to provide the first gelling agent usable in biological lowcalorie
jams (product currently non-existent on market).

5.  To evaluate in pilot plant the capability to use this new process for the treatment of residues coming from other fruits and vegetable processing industries.

6.  To transfer project know-how to industry operators, in order to enable European citrus operators to apply the proposed process and technology at industrial scale, encouraging involved European industrial sectors and stakeholders to testing their residue in the plant.

ACTIONS

1.  Enlargement and improvement of the pilot plant currently available in CTC to enable its utilization at semi-industrial scale for performing the proposed innovative process. A machine will be incorporated.

2.  Performing a test programme and conducting a detailed study about innovative process effectiveness, to characterize process parameters, to identify products specifications and to train CTC staff.

3.  Conducting a professional detailed cost-benefit analysis of the proposed process, with previous market study and basic industrial plant design, and a feasibility study.

4.  Creation and update, by web experts, of a new website, linked to the websites of the beneficiaries, to support the project communication and dissemination actions.

5.  Demonstration and disclosure regional programme and national/European programme, focused on targeted sectors, to outreach the advantages of the innovative process and to encourage particular
companies to test their own products or to promote demonstration sessions in the pilot plant. Specific initiatives will be directed to the biological certificated sector.

6.  Teaching training courses in CTC, focused on both technicians and operators of the targeted sectors and open to students, graduates and scientific and technical environment professionals.

7.  Starting up and maintaining throughout the project life and after its end an active dissemination and communication strategy, focused both on targeted companies, entities and public bodies and on general media. Project website linkage and promotion; ICT contacts; press-meetings; guided visits; press, radio and TV reviews and articles; publication of newsletters; placement of notice boards; distribution of brochures; layman’s report and a conference are scheduled.

8.  Publication of project results, proposed process parameters and expectations and obtained ingredients specifications in scientific and technical publications, and presentation of this information in congresses
and conferences.

9.  An efficient coordination, monitoring and evaluation system will be created to ensure an efficient project management, a continuous monitoring of the project's progress and a fulfilment in time of the
Commission requirements, including draw up an After-LIFE Communication Plan.

10.  External independent audit will verify the financial statements.

TIMETABLE

Timetable lifecitrus

EXPECTED RESULTS

1.  Enlarged CTC pilot plant will optimally perform innovative process at semi-industrial scale.

2.  Quantified and qualified demonstration at semi-industrial scale of the proposed process and the obtained ingredients. More than 10,000 Kg of residue will be processed. A minimum of 12 different foodstuffs will be tested, some samples of each product, ingredient and proportion will be characterized.

3.  Quantified demonstration of the economical balance of the process and its feasibility.

4.  Al least 50 regional companies belonging to the target sectors will be directly contacted and informed. At least 20 of these companies will participate in workshops. At least 12 of these companies will perform test or demonstration sessions at pilot plant.

5.  At least 60 national or European companiesbelonging to the targeted sectors will be directly contacted and informed. At least20 of these companies will participate in encouraging meetings. At least 4 of these companies will perform test or demonstration sessions at pilot plant.

6.  At least 30 technicians, students, graduates and scientific and technical environment professionals participate in the 3 calls of the scheduled training course.

7.  A powerful and dynamic project website will be created, linked with the beneficiaries's webs and, at least, 5 relevant related websites, updated monthly along project duration and quarterly along a minimum of 5 years after the end of the project, and used as the basic project communication tool. At least, 10000 visits to the project website are expected.

8.  To promote participation in the project and to disseminate the project results, 2 press-meetings, 2 guided visits for journalists and a conference will be held; at least 1 scientific and 1 technical article, 5 press, radio and TV reviews or articles, 6 newsletters and 1 layman’s report will be published (2000 copies); 2 presentations to national or international congresses will be promoted; 4 notice boards will be showed and 3000 brochures will be produced and selectively distributed.

9.  Creation of a network with at least, 3 projects or initiatives related to the LIFECITRUS issues.

10.  Afther the end of the project, communication actions will be promoted, the pilot plant will be operational for further tests and researches.

11.  Individual or cooperation initiatives will be promoted leading to the the replication of the propossed process.

12. Effective project management of the project.