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

Acronym: VALORTECH

Duration of the project: 

01.07.2019 – 30.06.2023 

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.

News

November 3rd, 2022

Workshop on edible films and coating as sustainable food packaging solutions - Hands-On Training/Work-shop will take place on November 24, 2022

Registration and more information

September 29th, 2022

Valortech had a filled trip to the Baltics, with a fruitful participation at the annual FoodBalt conference in Kaunas , Lithuania, and a cooperation visit to Jelgava, to Latvian University of Life Sciences and Technologies.

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June 13, 2022

Valortech was one of the projects chosen to take part at the Festival of the New European Bauhaus – „FAIR“, which took place from 9th to 12th of June, 2022. The Festival of the New European Bauhaus is the new flagship event of the European Commission, aiming to bring together talents and ideas from all over Europe, which contribute to the accomplishment of the European Green Deal.

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May 3, 2022

The One Health Estonia conference organized in cooperation between Combivet ERA Chair and Valortech has been successfully completed.

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April 25, 2022

On 19th of April, Valortech held a free workshop /training introducing encapsulation techniques. The event was organised in cooperation with the researchers from the Polli Horticultural Centre and was received well both by students and by local food industry actors. 

Recent publications

July 15 , 2022

Valortech PhD student Monica Ibrahim, together with Alice Aav and Ivi Jõudu published an article entitled "The potential and limitations for applications of oat proteins in the food industry" in Agronomy Research.

Link to article

June 22 , 2022

An article entitled "Amperometric method for the determination of cellulase activity and its optimization using response surface method" was published in Journal of Analytical Science and Technology by Valortech team members Toonika Rinken and Sana Ben Othman, together with the researchers fro the University of Tartu, Georg Nero and Kairi Kivirand. 

Link to article