Orange peels. A thorn in the side of waste companies for a long time. Composting is actually not an option because this process is very slow and burning the peels is not only very expensive but also bad for the environment. There must be another way, thought Sytze van Stemp, and that’s how he started PeelPioneers together with 2 partners. They have now grown into the sustainable peel farmer of the 21st century. PeelPioneers successfully converts this ‘waste’ into food and feed ingredients and chemical building blocks.
We already knew PeelPioneers and drew their attention to the Food from Food project. We have jointly drawn up a project plan for converting citrus peels into dietary fibres, such as cellulose and pectin, for the food industry with applications in bakery products, meat (substitutes), soups and sauces. The fibers consist of a combination of soluble and insoluble fibers, which gives them a unique functionality of a good water-holding capacity. This ensures a better texture, shelf life and nutritional value.
Many steps have been taken in the process to arrive at a marketable fiber. From testing on lab scale (Bodec/ILVO), analyzes (Brightlabs), scaling up to pilot (including ILVO), testing on functionality and application testing (FI&S).
The role of Food Tech Brainport in this entire process is to connect all relevant actors from our network to investigate the PeelPioneers issue for feasibility, opportunities and economic market value.