afval in handen met cijfers

Modelling tool for value creation to agri-food residual streams in bio-based industries

Why this project? 

In the EU, food waste during processing is estimated at around 41 million tons per year. This is accompanied by unnecessary emissions of CO2 and the waste of natural resources. In the light of climate change, the fight against food waste is very important for the EU. As such, the EU aims to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. By-products from the agri-food industry are currently mainly used as animal feed or for the production of bioenergy. But companies are always looking to valorise by-products at a higher value and to use by-products as resources for new applications in the bio-economy. Model2Bio wants to develop a decision-support tool based on mathematical models to valorise by-products from the agri-food industry in various applications. 

Project approach

Model2Bio is a European research and innovation project within the bio-based industries (BBI-JU), with the aim of developing a decision-support tool that can help companies in the valorisation of their by-products. Four agri-food industries were selected within Europe: vegetables, meat, dairy and alcoholic beverages. For the vegetable sector, potato steam peels and tomato pulp are being investigated, but also by-products of pepper and artichoke. In the meat sector, blood and feathers are tested. Furthermore, cheese whey, brewers spent grains and grape pulp are also being investigated. The composition of the side streams is determined, as well as possibilities for stabilization via fermentation and extraction and further purification of bioactive molecules via a cascade approach. These experimental results are used as input for the models and coupled with insights on logistics and life cycle analysis. The models will be used to develop the decision-support tool that will be presented to companies from the four agri-food industries for feedback and improvement. 
More information can be found at the following project website

Visit the project website
Target group and expected results 

The target group of this project are companies in the agri-food industry that are looking for a decision-support tool for the valorisation of their by-products. At first stage, these are companies from the four selected industries (vegetables, meat, dairy, alcoholic beverages), but at a later stage this tool can also be used for valorisation of organic by-products in other sectors. 

The expected results are: 

  • A decision-support system tool 
  • A methodology for characterisation of organic residual streams 
  • Simulation module and model libraries 
  • Microbial composition of various agri-food residual streams and analysis of their interference in fermentation processes 
  • Methods to stabilise agri-food residual streams 
  • Extraction and purification processes for residual stream valorisation 
  • Valorisation of various agri-food residual streams by fermentation 

Project partners 

The execution of Model2Bio is in the hands of a European consortium consisting of Flanders’ FOOD, Asociacion Centro Technologico (CEIT) (coordinator), Asociacion para la Investigacion Desarrollo e Innovacion del Sector Agroalimentario (CTIC-CITA), Universidad de Navarra, Wageningen University & Research, Celabor, Cluster of Bioeconomy and Environment of Western Macedonia (CluBE), Asociacion Cluster FOOD+I, IZNAB Sp. z o.o., European Science Communication Institute, Waste Management System of Western Macedonia (DIADYMA). 

Model2Bio Grant agreement


Gus Verhaeghe
innovation manager