ERA Chair for Food (By-) Products Valorisation Technologies
News and Announcements
Registration open for VALORTECH ERA Chair Winter School - "Biomass to Sustainable Bio-products"
It is the third time for the Valortech ERA Chair to organise an international research school to introduce and give insight into the research fields the chair has been active in. This time we look into the topic of developing sustainable bio-products from biomass. The course covers various aspects related to the conversion of agri-food industrial waste and byproducts into valuable products through sustainable means. Topics such as sourcing biomass, valorization technologies, various conversion methods, green deal and sustainable food production are introduced. As a case study, we consider the valorization of dairy industry waste and byproducts and biogas production.
The Winter School will be carried out in a hybrid format, with lectures taking place both virtually and on-site (practical hands-on training is only in contact mode).
We accept applications from local and international/exchange students, professionals and other research community members. The minimum requirement to be a participant is to hold a Bachelor's degree. Maximum of 20 participants would be accepted. For registration, please use the following link: https://forms.gle/1fJx2xLyLopBFg6t5
PROGRAM of the event can be found HERE
VALORTECH team' s collaboration visit to Finland
During February 21-23, the Valortech team visited research institutions in Finland to seek collaboration opportunities and introduce the research done in our chair.
The first day of the trip took us to LUKE where we were first greeted by their group manager Riitta Laitinen who introduced the centre and showed us around. Followingly the different research groups introduced their lab facilities and activities.
The second day took us to the University of Turku, Department of Life Technologies, Food Science group, where we had a seminar on Multidisciplinary knowledge and consumer understanding for the sustainable development of society and businesses.
PROGRAM of the event can be found HERE
New book 'Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges'
Valortech ERA Chair holder has introduced a new book (ed) 'Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges' (ISBN 978-3-0365-3870-9):
An article published in Sustainability
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 in the December issue of Sustainability.
LINK to the article.
The workshop/practical training on edible films and coating as sustainable food packaging solutions
The workshop was attended altogether by 18 participants. For the seminar part, we had an invited speaker from Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Selcuk Yildirim, who gave a talk on sustainable packaging and sidestream valorization. The hands-on workshop introduced edible packaging as a type of sustainable packaging made from plant-based materials that are natural and biodegradable.
The workshop/practical training is being announced by Valortech.
Workshop on edible films and coating as sustainable food packaging solutions - Hands-On Training/Workshop will take place on November 24, 2022 organized under the ERA-Chair for Food (By) Products Valorisation Technologies with the guest speaker Selcuk Yildirim, Professor, Head of the Center for Food Processing and Packaging, ZHAW – Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation.
The Valortech team took part in the 15th Baltic Conference on Food Science and Technology, FOODBALT-2022, with several oral as well as poster presentations delivered by our research staff and PhD students. The 2-day conference took place in Kaunas, Lithuania and was organised by the Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), which has long been closely linked to the EMU and Valortech project through cooperative relations. On the way back from Kaunas our team visited also the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies in Jelgava to discuss possible future collboration opportunities, eg. student exhanges and joint projects.
We would like to thank the conference Organizing Committee of the KTU for the excellently conducted venue and also the delegation in Jelgava for a warm welcome at their labs.
Valortech team's field trip to Kaunas and Jelgava
The 2nd Summer School held by the Valortech ERA Chair took place from 19th to 21st of October. During Summer School, the students got in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience on the development of functional foods and livestock feeds through agri-food waste and by-product valorization. A series of lectures covered the concepts of design and development of functional food/feed production. The hands-on sessions introduced product development, processing and quality evaluation methods. On the last day of Summer School, we had a field trip to visit two local food producers – Murimäe Winery and a cider brewery Siidrikoda. We were taken on a stroll introducing the production lines, viticulture and cider making, followed by the degustation of the best locllaly produced drinks.
We from the Valortec team would like to say a big thank you to all the participants and lecturers and hope the students had a productive and interesting stay.
Valortech Summer School 2022 is successfully completed
We are pleased to invite you to the Summer School "Agri-food wastes and by-products valorization: Functional product development" in Tartu, Estonia from 19.09 - 21.09.2022 organized by the ERA Chair in VALORTECH in the Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences of the Estonian University of Life Sciences.
The summer school will give an overview of functional foods and livestock feeds development through the valorization of agri-food waste and by-products. Participants will be introduced to development of functional products such as meat, diary, and livestock feeds. Eminent researchers will deliver lectures on the focused theme, followed by hands-on training for the participants on functional product development, including processing methods and sensory quality evaluation. The participants will learn the concepts of designing functional food/feed product development. Besides, participants will get an opportunity to visit some of the local food industries in and around Tartu and learn about on-site food production. Innovative discussions, interactions and group activities will also be a part of this summer school.
Valortech is holding a 2nd Summer School
Valortech was chosen to take part at the Festival of the New European Bauhaus
Valortech was one of the projects chosen to participate 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, contributing to the accomplishment of the European Green Deal.
Valortech was showcased at the FAIR Mobile Exhibition, with Project details presented on mobile devices through high-quality visuals. The mobile exhibition was a perfect opportunity for the project to be seen beyond the conventional exhibitions to have direct contact with a larger number of visitors.
Our presentation at the festival can be seen HERE
Valotrech and the The ERA chair of Comparative Medicine (COMBIVET) co-organized a conference "One Health Estonia"
The One Health Estonia conference organized in cooperation between Combivet ERA Chair and Valortech has been successfully completed. We would like to thank everybody for participating and the Combivet team for the excellent organization.
Workshop/training on encapsulation technologies
The encapsulation technology workshop, organized by the Valortech team in collaboration with researchers at the Polli Horticultural Research Center on 19 April, had a good turnout in terms of attendence, both by students and other researchers as well as by industry stakeholders in the field.
The practical training for local actors in the food industry was very well received and already generated some ideas for future collaborative projects using the encapsulation methods discussed. The lecture by Dr. Berta Estevinho from the University of Porto and Dr. Rocio Morales-Medina from the Technical University of Berlin sparked interesting discussions about the different techniques and methods, their effectiveness and shortcomings.
Valotrech and the The ERA chair of Comparative Medicine (COMBIVET) are co-organizing a conference "One Health Estonia", 28-29.04.2022
One Health is an umbrella term explaining the interconnected nature of the whole biosphere. It seeks a collaborative, transdisciplinary approach to achieving the goal of optimal health outcomes by recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.
The 2-day meeting hosts experts from different backgrounds - from biotechnology and medicine to veterinary medicine and animal welfare and also food safety and food hygiene. The meeting will take place as a hybrid event in Tartu, at Kreutzwaldi 1. Participation is free of charge, although registration is required. Registration is open until 15th of April 2022.
For more information and the program, please visit the CONFERENCE WEBPAGE
The meeting is co-organised by the One Health Estonia Community, the ERA Chair of Comparative Medicine (COMBIVET) and the ERA Chair of Valortech of the Estonian University of Life Sciences.
Free Workshop/Training on Encapsulation Technologies
On the 19th of April Valortech is organizing a free workshop/training to introduce basic principles of common encapsulation techniques. The event is planned out in two parts: online lectures (in English) are open for students, scientists, stakeholders, and public; on-site practical training (in Estonian) open for all industry stakeholders (max 10 participants)
The online session features 3 lectures:
(1) Major encapsulation techniques and formulations: Speaker: Dr. Berta Estevinho, Universidade de Porto. (2) Evaluation of the microencapsulation efficiency and oxidative stability of active material: Speaker: Dr. Berta Estevinho, Universidade de Porto. (3) Application of vegetable by-products in encapsulation: challenges and opportunities: Speaker: Dr. Rocio Morales-Medina, Technical University of Berlin.
The on-site training participants will be introduced to the use and maintenance of spray dry equipment and practical training in encapsulation using a BUCHI B-290 Spray Dryer. Practical training will take place at the PlantValor Competence Centre, Polli Horticultural Research Centre.
Registration: For stakeholders (online lecture and practical workshop on-site in Polli); for students (only online lecture)
For more information and the agenda of the event please see the EVENT NOTICE
Valortech is organising a third lecture from the lecture series on „Biomass Valorization and Bioprocessing Technologies”.
The third session will be held online on the 4th of April at 11:00 – 13:05 (EET) and features two guest speakers:
Prof. Giancarlo Cravotto, PhD from Università Degli Studi di Torino is giving a talk titled "Enabling Technologies for Biomass Extraction and Conversion", and Dr. Choo Wee Sim, PhD from School of Science, Monash University, Malaysia will give a talk on "High-Pressure Homogenization on the Extractability and Stability of Bioactive Pigments".
Participation, as always, is free of charge and accessible to anyone who is interested.
To attend, PLEASE REGISTER HERE
A link to the online event will be sent to the registered participants.
For more information please see the LECTURE NOTICE
Valortech had a panel session at the annual conference "Healty Animal, Healthy Food"
The Valortech session at the annual conference "Healthy Animal Healthy Food 2022" on the 2nd of March was warmly welcomed. From our team, there were altogether eight presentations. The event had an audience of more than 200 a day, mostly online, as has become the norm. We would like to thank the organisers for a great event. We will definitely participate again.
Some photos from our session can be seen HERE
Rajeev Bhat was elected as an expert in the European Life Sciences Program
Rajeev Bhat has been appointed as an expert in 'Meat Alternatives' by the Scientific Council of European Academies (EASAC). EASAC is formed by the national science academies of the EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland and UK, to enable them to collaborate with each other in providing independent science advice to European policy-makers. Through EASAC, the academies work together to provide independent, expert, evidence-based advice about the scientific aspects of European policies to those who make or influence policy within the European institutions (https://easac.eu/).
The main outcome of the EASAC project „Meat alternatives“ is an evidence-based report based on analysis with recommendations to policymakers.
Meeting With The Ministry Of Rural Affairs
Rajeev Bhat, Prof. Ülle Jaakma -Vice-Rector for Research; Toomas Tiirats- Director, Institute of Veterinary Medicine & Animal Sciences; Aret Vooremäe-Director, Institute of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences held a productive interactive round table meeting with the management of 'Ministry of Rural Affairs' in Tallinn to discuss on enhancing mutual cooperation and initiating strategic planning between the university and the ministry in relevance to the local agri-food sector. Prof. Bhat delivered a special talk related to future opportunities and overcoming recurring sustainability challenges in the global agri-food sector with emphasis laid on Estonia. Prof. Bhats recently published book 'Future Foods: Global Trends, Opportunities, and Sustainability Challenges' was also introduced. From the ministry side, Tiina Saron (Secretary-General), Marko Gorban (Deputy Secretary-General for Agricultural and Rural Life Policies), Hendrik Kuusk (Deputy Secretary-General for Food Safety), Alo Aasma (Deputy Secretary-General, Administrative Affairs) and Siim Tiidemann (Deputy Secretary-General for Fisheries Policy & Foreign Affairs) along with all other subordinates attended the meeting.
Valortech session at the annual conference "Healty Animal, Healthy Food"
Valortech ERA Chair team has a dedicated session at the annual conference "Healthy Animal, Healthy Food". The chair holder together with three of our researchers and three PhD students will give presentations on Valortech research topics. The conference will take place in a hybrid format on 2nd and 3rd of March, 2022. Valortech session is scheduled for the 2nd of March from 15:15 - 17:30.
Further information and program can be found HERE.
Workshop/webinar on enzyme immobilization
On the 25th of January 2022, the ERA Chair in Valortech hosted a practical webinar/workshop introducing the basic principles of enzyme immobilization and the application of immobilized enzymes for the valorization of food waste and by-products.
Following speakers shared their expertise: Dr. Simona Serban (Application Manager Life Sciences , Purolite, UK) gave a talk on „Application of immobilized enzymes in food Industry“, Valortech Senior Researcher, Toonika Rinken, shared her experiences and case studies with the presentation „Immobilized enzymes in food waste valorization“ and Valortech researcher Sana Ben Othman gave a talk titled „Immobilization of pectinases onto nylon-6/6 threads and its potential applications“.
The interactive webinar was very well received with more than 20 participants from Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Spain, India, Brunei, Romania, Italy participating. The event was moderated by Prof. Rajeev Bhat.
A free online workshop inroducing use of Immobilized Enzymes in Food Industry
On the 25th of January Valortech will organise an online workshop titled "Application of Immobilized Enzymes in Food Industry and Food Waste Valorization". The workshop introduces the basic principles of enzyme immobilization and the application of immobilized enzymes for the valorization of food waste and by-products. The use of immobilized enzymes provides an important industrial and environmental advantage in comparison with other enzymes that could be particularly relevant in winemaking and juice production.
The workshop includes two interactive online lectures followed by a practical introduction on the preparation and use of immobilized pectinases.
As the workshop covers topics that are very practical and directly applicable in industry, we encourage the business representatives and industrial actors to REGISTER.
A second international lecture session was held
The second international guest lecture session organized by the ERA Chair in Valortech took place in an online format on the 2nd of December, 2021. The topic of the second session focused on 'Biomass Valorization and Bioprocessing Technologies' with the sub-theme focusing on green extraction technologies like microwave and ultrasound. Following guest speakers shared their expertise:
Prof. Vicente M. Gómez-López, PhD (Cátedra Alimentos para la Salud, Universidad Católica de Murcia (UCAM), Spain) talked about “Microwave-assisted extraction for waste/by-products valorization” and Prof. Sivakumar Manickam, PhD (Petroleum and Chemical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi Brunei, Brunei) made a presentation about “Greener, cleaner and energy-efficient ultrasound for the extraction of active constituents from natural products”. The interactive lecture session was very well received and was attended by more than 30 participants from Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Spain, India, Brunei, and others. The event was moderated by Prof. Rajeev Bhat.
The details of the event are provided in the lecture notice.
Prof. Bhat gave a keynote speech at
the 9th ICIST conference
Prof. Rajeev Bhat was invited to give Keynote address at the 9th International Conference on Integration of Science and Technology for Sustainable Development 2021 ( 2021) on November 19, 2021, organized by the Association of Agricultural Technology in Southeast Asia (AATSEA), Thailand. His keynote talk was on the 'Circular Bioeconomy Perspectives for Sustainable Management and Effective Valorization of Food Industrial Wastes and By-products.' More than 250 participants attend this conference, and Rajeev shared his opinion on opportunities and challenges for valorising food industrial wastes and by-products- comparatively between the EU and Asian contexts.
Valortech launched a new lecture series
The first guest lecture session from the series of lectures to be organized by the ERA Chair in Valortech took place on the 2nd of November. The first session featured two guest speakers: Prof. Jesus Simal-Gandara, PhD (Food Science Lab, Analytical Chemistry and Food Science Dep. University of Vigo - Ourense Campus, Spain), with an exiting presentation titled "Qualitative and quantitative metabolomics for ingredient valorization", and Prof. Elena G. Kovaleva, PhD (Institute of Chemical Engineering, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia), with an insightful introduction to a topic "Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents in Extraction of Biologically Active Compounds. The lecture session was attended virtually by 35 participants, from Estonia, Finland, Russia, Lithuania, India and Brunei.
The details of the event are provided in the lecture notice.
Meeting with the representative of EPKK
Prof. Rajeev Bhat held fruitful discussions with Ms. Meeli Lindsaar who is a Board member of the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce (EPKK) and Chairman of the Client Council of the Agriculture and Food Board, Estonia. Mutual cooperation, support and enhancing networking between ERA-Chair in Valortech and EPKK, ultimately aiming towards contributing to the Estonian agri-food sector was deliberated.
A new book published by Rajeev Bhat (Ed.)
A new book, "Future Foods: Global Trends, Opportunities, and Sustainability Challenges" was published, with Prof. Rajeev Bhat as editor. The book was published by the prestigious Elsevier Sciences publisher (Academic Press, UK), and has already attracted a lot of attention among the scientific community as well as among policymakers.
This book benefits a wide range of audiences from agri-food researchers/technologists and industry stakeholders to environmental scientists, biochemists and -entrepreneurs as well as policymakers, governmental and non-governmental organizations and consumers.
The book was officially released by the EMU Vice-Rector for Research, Ülle Jaakma, and Director of the Institute of Veterinary Medicine & Animal Sciences, Toomas Tiirats, to mark the importance of this event for the university.
New article published
Valortech researchers M. Sharma, S. Hussain and R. Bhat published an article in collaboration with Tallinn University of Technology. Article entitled 'Valorization of seabuckthorn pomace to obtain bioactive carotenoids: An innovative approach of using green extraction techniques (ultrasonic and microwave-assisted extractions) synergized with green solvents (edible oils)" can be found in the January 2022 issue of Industrial Crops & Products.
Prof. Bhat gave a keynote talk at an international conference organized
Prof. Rajeev Bhat delivered a talk as a 'Keynote speaker' at the recently held International conference "Modern Synthetic Methodologies for Creating Drugs and Functional Materials" (MOSM 2021, November 8-12, 2021), Organized by the Ural Federal University, Russia. The talk on 'Valorization of food industry wastes and by-products in the circular economy context' was very well received by the participants. Rajeev shared his expertized view on identifying various opportunities and challenges for the effective valorization of wastes and by-products from a global perspective.
Webinar "Food Waste Valorization: Natural Pigments Perspectives"
A hybrid webinar /workshop was held on the 28th of October, focusing on providing knowledge about the valorization of food industry wastes/by-products (mainly fruits and vegetables) to obtain value-added bioactive natural pigments that would have potential in food, cosmetics and pharma industrial applications. The webinar featured a lecture session with a guest lecture by Prof. Francesco Donsì (University of Salerno Via Giovanni Paolo II, Fisciano (SA) –Italy), and lectures from our researchers Minaxi Sharma, Reelika Rätsep and PhD student Monica Nabil Ibrahim. The workshop segment of the event introduced methods for the extraction of natural pigments.
The first Valortech ERA Chair Summer School has been successfully completed
The Summer School “Valorization of Food Industry Wastes and By-products”, held in hybrid mode on 28-30.09, offered the 25 registered participants the opportunity to gain experiences through different workshops, lectures and visits.
The team would like to give special thanks to the guest lecturers Assoc Prof. Apostolis Koitinas (Univ. of Athens, Greece) and Miguel Herrero (CIAL-CSIC, Spain) for sharing the valuable knowledge, and to all the participants for their active involvment.