INGREEN is an EU-funded project that will produce functional innovative ingredients from paper and agro-food by-products through sustainable and efficient tailor-made biotechnological processes for food, feed, pharma and cosmetics.

The INGREEN Project

Currently, there is an imperative need of addressing the waste issues coming from different sectors, such as food, paper and packaging. These waste streams, however, are potentially valuable source of unexploited bio-based compounds that are suitable for exploitation. For example, side-streams and by-product from Agro-food and Paper mills can be converted into an innovative functional product for applications as ingredient for food, feed and agriculture products or in industrial chemicals and pharmaceutical. Consequently, the value from these side streams is lost and it is usually an additional cost for the industries to handle the waste and other waste-associated costs. Therefore, it is essential to optimally exploit bio-based compounds from Agro-food and Paper mills in order to reduce waste disposal and improve the industrial eco-sustainability.

INGREEN is an EU-funded project that will develop innovative solutions for side streams and by-products by creating partnerships between different agricultural, food and industrial sectors. This project will specifically demonstrate efficient and safe tailor-made biotechnologies as well as eco-friendly approaches for producing safe and/or health promoting microbial biomasses, functional ingredients such as prebiotics, pre-fermented food ingredients, and biochemical raw materials to obtain innovative bio-based prototypes and where possible packaged in biodegradable solutions for food, feed, packaging, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic sectors. These sectors will benefit from the outcomes of INGREEN as the developed biotechnologies will be scaled up to real operational environments. The direct involvement of the eight SMEs, four large industries and four academic partners well-experienced in knowledge transfer are key to setting up the suitable scale up strategies and work plans to drive and speed up the market penetration of the innovative bio-based processes and final products.

Project duration; June 2019 till November 2022 (42 months)


Agriculture and the food-processing industry generate a huge amount of waste. Unfortunately, these streams are often not properly managed from both an environmental and economic perspective. In fact, the FP7 project FUSIONS1 reported that the EU primary production and the food processing sectors accounted for 9.1 and 17 million tons of waste respectively in 2012, while paper plants generate 80m3 of wastewater for each ton of pulp produced. The main dairy waste is represented by whey of which about 140 million tons/year was produced. The findings of the INGREEN project could have a major impact considering Europe and USA accounts for the 70% of the total world dairy production.

Residual biomass and side streams as well as byproducts that originate from paper mill and agro-food industries, including the dairy and the wheat, barley, oat and rye milling, have a high organic matter and are potential sources of functional bio-based compounds and bioactive ingredients. Since these compounds are potentially suitable for variety of applications, their recovery, characterization, and reuse would turn that is considered waste into valuable products. This in turn would reduce waste disposal and improve the paper and agro-food industrial eco-sustainability. Paper mill, dairy and wheat and rye milling side streams and by-products can also be valuable resources to produce safe microbial starters and functional adjuncts with many applications in food and feed sectors

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The Consortium

The INGREEN consortium consists of four research and innovation partners, four large enterprises, eight small and medium-sized enterprises and a membership organization. Our 17 partners are located in nine countries throughout Europe, namely: Belgium, France Italy, Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.


  • Developing feed prototypes with high probiotic activity at lab scale
  • Producing best feed prototype at pilot scale


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 838120