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Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) 2021

SURFOLY : SUstainable Ruminants Feed with OLive pomace and polYphenols enriched charred olive stone

Morocco ; Italy ; Lebanon

Long-term Europe-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership for Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture

Titre : SURFOLY : SUstainable Ruminants Feed with OLive pomace and polYphenols enriched charred olive stone

Pays/Région : Morocco ; Italy ; Lebanon

Date : Start date 2021-07-01 // End date 2025-08-31

Identifiant : 455-SURFOLY
Type de projet : Development and innovation oriented (research) project

Sheep and goat farming is a source of employment in disadvantaged agricultural areas. The high-quality products obtained are universally recognized as the result of a multifunctional and sustainable form of agriculture that contributes effectively to the safeguard of the environment and the social cohesion of rural areas. The sector, however, does not guarantee economic sustainability nor in the MENA region nor the EU. Any action that increases yields and quality of products or makes available feed and supplements with better value for money is an essential contribution to the sector’s sustainability. The regions bordering the Mediterranean share the cultivation of olive trees and the consequent olive oil industry among the primary sources of profi tability. The sector concentrates in a few months a high production of by-products (pomace and wastewaters), which is associated with a significant environmental impact, exceptionally high for wastewaters, where the presence of polyphenols can be toxic to vegetation and microbial population when used in soils and contributes to the eutrophication of waterways. On the other hand, the dried pomace finds application in the feed sector or as a fuel, although the use is much lower than the availability. It is possible to increase the added value of the entire supply chain, both for breeders and for operators in the olive and oil agroindustry, through an integrated approach that valorizes the by-products of the oil industry into an innovative feed for sheep and goats. At the same time, this can be done by significantly reducing the environmental impact on the supply chain’s life cycle and through a mixed crop-livestock system.

SURFOLY promotes and demonstrates an innovative business and sustainable development model in the circular economy to produce two innovative animal feeds for lactating and fattening small ruminants (sheeps and goats) while supporting mix crop-livestock system and the olive industry in the Mediterranean area. The new feed contains olive oil by-products (pomace, stone, and polyphenols from wastewaters) utilised in an innovative way to improve performance and product quality and reduce the overall environmental impact on the life cycle of the combined system olive mill - feed manufacturer - farm. Olive stone or dried pomace are then pyrolyzed in an innovative regenerative, rotary kiln to obtain biochar used to reduce the COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) of olive mill wastewaters by absorbing polyphenols, hence significantly reducing the polluting impact of their use as a fertilizer or disposal. The polyphenol’s enriched char has antioxidant potential and can reduce methane emissions from ruminants ; therefore, it is added to dried pomace to produce a nutrient mix which is eventually pelletised and used as an ingredient in the new formula for sheep and goats. To further increase the mix crop-livestock model introduced by SURFOLY, when small ruminants are allowed to graze in olive orchards, digested biochar is released back as a carbon sink in the fields.

Coordinateur : University of Perugia
Partenaires : Tecnologie per la Riduzione delle Emissioni Engineering (TREE) American University of Beirut (AUB) Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Sciences (IAV) ALF MABROUK

Financement principal : Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) (H202
Budget : 2 320 000 EUR

FNSSA project database

Page publiée le 22 août 2023