Scientist Diana Lindberg develops valuable products from residual raw materials from Norwegian agriculture. Photo: Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen © Nofima

Project Year 2017

Agricultural residues – a gold mine?

 Raw materials and process optimisation  

Each year, Norwegian agriculture produces 415,000 tonnes of residual raw materials. Now plant residues, fat and grain residues are going to be turned into "gold".

The volumes and types of residual materials in Norwegian agriculture have recently been catalogued.

“The goal was to create a better overview over the volumes, composition, quality, current use, and possible new uses of residual raw materials from industrial processing of agricultural produce in Norway,” says Nofima scientist Diana Lindberg, who was responsible for the report.

High exports

Norilia is one company that already is making profit from what used to be treated as waste. Using 150,000 tonnes of excess products from Nortura (skin, gut, wool and meat), they now have an annual turnover of NOK 500 million, with a high level of exports. Another is Norner, which with Innovation Norway’s support is developing innovative biodegradable plastic based on natural fibres from potato peelings.

Huge untapped resources

Each year, the agricultural industry in Norway produces huge volumes of residual raw materials from different sources: grain processing (69,800 tonnes), breweries (17,000 tonnes), meat (264,000 tonnes), and vegetables and potatoes (64,150 tonnes).

A large and often unappreciated resource is animal fat. The current annual volume is 27,300 tonnes, and in addition, meat producers have started reducing the fat content in their products to meet dietary recommendations, resulting in increasing volumes of residual fat.

“Today most of this fat is used in feed. Animal fat consists of a wide variety of oils and fat-soluble compounds. This raw material can be refined to yield a healthier fat that can then be used as, for example, an ingredient in foods, ” says Nofima lipid specialist John-Erik Haugen.

Innovation Norway, the Research Council of Norway

Innovation Norway, Nofima, the Research Council of Norway

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