The “waste” left behind in the field when the cabbage heads have been harvested can now be turned into new, healthy products. PHOTO: GIOVANNI AGATI

Project Year 2017

Healthy “waste”

 Processing technology  

When cabbages and tomatoes are harvested, much good raw material remains. This “waste” can be made into new, healthy products.

The EU project “Sunniva” is about different methods of processing raw materials, by-products and waste from tomato, white cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli: innovation to reduce food waste.

The goal is better utilisation of raw materials, reduced energy and water consumption, higher profitability, and healthier food.

“Scientists and industrial players from seven countries have studied raw materials from harvest to finished product, and have come up with many ways to reduce waste and make good, healthy products. Researchers all over Europe have worked on the project, and many different methods have been used to improve exploitation, benefiting the environment, the economy and nutrition,” says Nofima scientist Trond Løvdal.

Findings and results

After three years, the findings and results can be summed up thus:

  • Waste from cabbage and tomato plants can be exploited, improving consumer health.
  • Optical sensors have been developed to measure the amount of health-promoting substances in tomatoes and cabbages, both before and after harvest
  • Use of microwave technology reduces both power and water consumption.
  • New technology can produce juices, smoothies and purees without oxidation.
  • New organic fertilisers have been developed using vegetable waste.

Value loop

“We often talk about the value chain from harvest to finished product, but in terms of sustainability, we should look at the value loop. This is a life-cycle approach, where the various residual raw materials are exploited to the full: either directly (for food production as a refined product or an ingredient) or indirectly (e.g. fertilisers, compost or animal feed), depending on what adds the greatest value,” Trond Løvdal explains.

Ten research institutes and six commercial players from Europe

EU – ERA-Net SusFood

More useful research results