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ERA Chair for Food (By-) Products Valorisation Technologies of the Estonian University of Life Sciences​


Duration of the project: 

01.07.2019 – 31.12.2023 

Programme: H2020 - Horizon 2020


Call: H2020-WIDESPREAD-03-2017-ERAChairs


Project number: 810630


Coordinator: Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMU)

Advanced food processing technologies, minimum waste and maximum utilization of raw material used as well as valorization of by-products constitute a highly relevant range of topics in the EU and worldwide. These are matters that the University of Life Sciences (Eesti Maaülikool, EMU) has been dealing with for a long from various angles and perspectives. However, to realize the full potential of EMU in this domain, structural changes are needed to bring various related competencies under a unified umbrella as well as to cover several gaps hindering further development.

The main objective of the VALORTECH ERA Chair is to establish a new internationally recognized research team, and recruit a top-level researcher/research manager (ERA Chair holder) to lead this interdisciplinary, inter-unit entity, formed based on a joint effort by the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences of EMU.

The new Chair is expected to conduct forefront research that would create significant benefits for Estonia, Europe, and beyond. Efficient dissemination and exploitation of research results is an issue of key importance in the context of the ERA Chair´s action plan. In addition to targeting the international research community and providing input to policy development, facilitating knowledge transfer to the industry is a particular focus. The R&D to be carried out in the VALORTECH Chair is strongly connected with both the national and regional Smart Specialisation strategy, in the context of which efficient use of resources and related development of health-promoting (functional) food are among key priorities. The demand for advanced R&D services in the VALORTECH fields from the side of the industry currently exceeds the capacity of EMU to provide such services.

Research and innovation activities
  • Optimization of processing technologies of various food raw materials/products to produce fewer by-products;

  • Development of effective technologies and processes for valorization of inevitably occurring by-products and non-standard raw material by converting them into high-value functional ingredients;

  • Development of advanced technologies focused on the application of the above-mentioned functional ingredients for increasing nutritional value and safety of various food products, including different encapsulation methods, technologies improving final product texture, sensory properties, and nutritive value, and ensuring the stability of these ingredients during manufacturing;

  • Development of advanced technologies focused on applications of different extracted functional ingredients in various non-food products (e.g. eco-cosmetics, household chemicals, animal feed, etc.)

Expected impacts
  • Building a top-level research team that fosters excellent research

  • Improving research expertise related to the VALORTECH research focus

  • Improving the level of teaching and young researcher development

  • Popularising ERA Chair´s R&D topics and building (inter)national collaboration

The broader vision related to the creation of the ERA Chair is that the VALORTECH Chair will develop into a leading center of excellence in the development of advanced technologies for minimum waste, maximum utilization, and valorization of various raw materials and components used in food and also non-food value chains.


November 21st, 2023

On 13th of December, 2023 Valortech is holding an International Symposium 'Sustainable Solutions for Food Wastes and By-Products Valorisation - The Way Ahead!'

For further information and schedule, please see the EVENT NOTICE.

Registration is open until December 7th:

November 14th, 2023

17th Baltic Conference on Food Science and Technology FOODBALT 2024 “Sustainable Food Production – A Challenge For The Whole Production Chain” will be held in Tartu, May 8-10, 2024. Prof. Rajeev Bhat will be the Conference Chair for this part of the event. More information is in the link:

October 25th, 2023

Prof. Rajeev Bhat has been appointed as an expert from the European Union to serve as a member of the 'Guideline Development Group' (Traditional Food Markets) of the World Health Organization (WHO of the UN).

October 24h, 2023

Prof Rajeev Bhat was a part of the successful COST action proposal- FoodWaStop (Sustainable Network for agro-food loss and waste prevention, management, quantification and valorisation). 

October 16h, 2023

Prof. Rajeev was invited to Suvemäe-TKG school in Tallinn, Estonia as a guest speaker. During the workshop, Rajeev shared his life experiences and delivered a talk on 'Choosing a Career Path as Food Scientist: Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges.' 

Recent publications

November 13th , 2023

Valortech researchers in collaboration with researchers from Taltech have published an article entitled: Natural pigments (anthocyanins and chlorophyll) and antioxidants profiling of European red and green gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa L.) extracted using green techniques (UAE-citric acid-mediated extraction).


Link to the article.

January 2nd , 2023

Valortech ERA Chair Phd student Dunja Malencia published an article titled „Sustainable Management and Valorization of Agri-Food Industrial Wastes and By-Products as Animal Feed: For Ruminants, Non-Ruminants and as Poultry Feed“. The article was published int the December issue of Sustainability.


Link to the article.

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