VIDA Awarded Project - VV135- CARE-Coffee: the validation of preprocessing steps

Submitted by Ana Fernandes on 27 July 2021


1 July 2020 / 1 December 2020

VIDA Challenges:
Resource-efficient food processing

Coffee consumption creates enormous amounts of waste. Only 0,02% of the coffee bean is used to make coffee. The remaining 98,8%, called spent coffee grounds (SCG), is incinerated and therefore valuable resources are lost. Two Dutch SMEs are working together on maximizing the value of the coffee chain by building a biorefinery to process SCGs into oil, colorants and a valuable residue. One of the main challenges of the pilot test line is the feedstock heterogeneous quality. SCG quality is influenced by two external conditions: 1) coffee brewing process and 2) degradation due to environmental conditions. In this project we will validate the preprocessing steps: pretreatment and storage of SCGs. Thus, avoiding losses due to low feedstock quality and securing large scalability of the biorefinery. With this VIDA subsidy we are focusing on testing the preprocessing steps of a SCG pilot process line in an operational environment.

The food sector is under enormous pressure, threatened by challenges like health issues, climate change and unsustainable agricultural practices. The food system can become more resilient by making use of residual organic waste streams to generate (economic, social and environmental) value along the whole supply chain. These residual organic streams are currently often perceived as ‘waste’, because they cannot directly be used as food or consumer products. Moreover, most coffee farmers are living in poverty, therefore they do not have the means to invest in sustainable agriculture. This has an impact on their yield and quality of the beans and the biodiversity on their plantations. We aim to distribute the value we create, by getting more resources out of the coffee bean than just coffee, along the chain. By doing this, we provide an opportunity for the coffee farmers to invest in more sustainable agricultural practices. Herewith, we hope to make sure future generations can also enjoy a world with coffee.

CaffeInk VOF
Spaak Circular Solutions b.v.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, under Grant Agreement nº 777795.
Disclaimer: The content of this document represents the view of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility: it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-size Enterprises (EASME). The European Commission and the Agency do not accept responsibility for the use that may be made of the information it contains.

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