cartif projects


Development of benign cascade extractive biorefinery for converting agri-food side streams into high-value polyphenolic bioactives. 


In the agricultural sector half of residual biomass is wasted and that is used finds its way to low-mid-value applications; feedstock is challenging to upcycle due to its variable makeup and supply fluctuations. 

Agricultural side streams -olives, wine,chicory and onions- are rich in bioactive compounds (BAC) and have antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Their full potential has yet to be realised, due to a lack of technologies that preserve the complexity and functionality of these BAC.

The project aims to develop a benign, efficient and sustainable process to address this challenge. It will use a novel pre-treatment followed by green extraction, maximising efficiency and preserving the qualities of the polyphenols. The ultimate goal is to see these used in pharma and food products. 


  • To develop a benign, efficient and sustainable process to extract polyphenolic bioactive compounds for high-value applications. 
  • Economical, to develop high-value applications with high product prices, new business models and will imporved income stream for farmers.
  • Social, to develop high-value products for pharma, cosmeceutical, nutraceutical and fucntional foods. 
  • Environmental, to make use of biomass for higher-value products, thus decreasing of GHGs. 


  • Feedstock inventory, characterization, conditioning and supply chain development. 
  • Technology lab-scale development and verification. 
  • Technology upscale and validation at TRL 4/5.
  • Characterization of the bioingredients activities for their use in pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and functional food products.
  • Techno-economical and environmental assessment, standardization. 
  • Dissemination and exploitation, innovation outreach. 

Expected Results

  • Establishing a new cross-sectoral interconnection between feedstock auppliers, technology developers, end -users and final consumers.
  • Developing 8 value chains with 13 potential products. 
  • Validating 12 innovative technologies for processing specific agri side streams. 
  • Demonstrating consumer products prototypes at laboratory scale including pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, functional fibres and colourants. 





Total budget: 3,902,69€

Contribution: 378,125€

Duration: June 2021 – May 2024

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Silvia Gómez

Division Agrofood and Processes


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