FDT Consulting Engineers commence €1.6 million eco-innovation project
23 February 2015
Dublin based company, FDT Consulting Engineers, has secured European Commission funding for a €1.6 million eco-innovation project.
FDT’s Process for Upgrade and Recovery of Polyphenol Extracts (PUReOPE) project aims to develop a business that uses new methodologies to extract high-value polyphenol compounds from waste in brewing, malting and cereals production. As lead partner on the project, FDT will work with partners CPL Scientific (UK) and Exima (Denmark), with the support of expert consultants from Ireland, Britain and Germany.
Mark Sweeney, national contact point, Enterprise Ireland’s CIP Eco-Innovation/ Horizon2020 said “We are delighted with this success for an Irish company under the initiative. FDT is an example of a company that has benefited from Environmental Protection Agency funding at a national level and progressed to European funded projects”.
“Companies should note that there are many new opportunities for Eco-innovation funding in Horizon 2020, the new European Commission Research and Innovation Framework Programme. We are actively looking for companies with innovative products and processes that reduce environmental impacts,” he added.
The process will provide the valuable antioxidant compounds from natural resources, called polyphenols, which are used in a range of industries, including healthcare and food processing. Polyphenols give fruit, vegetables and grains their distinctive colour and contribute significantly to their health promoting properties. Evidence of their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer, neurological and cardiovascular diseases is emerging.
Several thousand molecules having a polyphenol structure have been identified in higher plants, and several hundred are found in edible plants. Cloves rank the highest of all food sources in polyphenol content per 100g and are closely followed by a variety of herbs, berries and nuts. These molecules are secondary metabolites of plants and are involved in defence against ultraviolet radiation or aggression by pathogens.
The PUReOPE process offers an environmental benefit to food and beverage producers through the reduction in effluent volumes and treatment requirements. This is because polyphenols, due to their anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antifungal and antioxidant nature, can inhibit conventional wastewater treatment processes. A further economic benefit may be obtained through the recovery of water and caustic suitable for re-use on the source sites which would otherwise require treatment.
Interest in these natural chemicals has exploded in the last number of years and will continue to do so as research uncovers more and more miraculous effects these compounds have on the human body and other potential applications. The global market for polyphenols is expected to reach €824 million by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. (2014). A significant portion of today’s market is sourced from olive mill wastewater and grape residue.
Barley is a relatively rich source of these antioxidants with varieties including catechin, epicatechin, gallocatechin, epigallocatechin and a number of phenolic acids. Beer producers are interested in removing polyphenols from the brew because they have a large role to play in haze formation, colour, taste, foam and stability of the final product.
The project will include an industrial-scale demonstrator, which will be built and tested on a handful of brewing and distilling sites across Ireland. The demonstrator will be used as a reference for potential clients within the target sectors throughout Europe. Various novel separation and purification steps will be used in this unit to make the high quality extract which will be manufactured to be fit for human consumption.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2015/02/23/fdt-consulting-engineers-commence-e1-6-million-eco-innovation-project/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/FDT-PUReOPE.bmphttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/FDT-PUReOPE.bmpNewsfood,innovation