This article is an excerpt from the 2 interregional learning event of the COLOR CIRCLE project which took place online from 23rd to 25th June. It highlights a local initiative on the agri-food industry and how it can take circular economy into consideration. The presentation was made by Ms. Edurne Azcona from the R&D Department at Grupo La Caña, a business group dedicated to the production and marketing of fruit and vegetable products.
91,000 tonnes of avocado are produced in Spain, i.e. 93% of the European production, mostly concentrated in the provinces of Malaga and Granada. As a result of this activity, a large amount of by-products are generated (avocado skins and stones, approx. 30% of the fruit's weight. Some 2,000 tonnes of stone and skin are discarded, which can potentially be used as a source of bioactive compounds with added value. Grupo La Cana is involved in 2 R&D projects to help the production system to better manage its waste and develop circular economy actions into the agri-food production process : AGUCAVALUE and AVOCENTUM.
AVOCEMTUM is Grupo La Caña's innovation project for the production of functional guacamole. The aim of the AVOCEMTUM agri-food innovation project is to produce guacamole with the incorporation of new ingredients obtained from the revalorisation of avocado co-products, in order to obtain different versions with the highest possible natural nutritional value. The project is done with the support of the Andalusian Technological Corporation (CTA) and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI).
AGUACAVALUE, a two-year project (2018-2020) promotes the valorisation of avocado by-products for the development of animal feed and cosmetics. The project is coordinated by the Functional Food Research and Development Centre (CIDAF) and brings together top-level companies and organisations: La Caña Group, Frumaco, Natac Biotech, Macob and Agro-food Cooperatives of Andalusia-Granada. Two lines of research are carried out. On the one hand, the use of avocado by-products (skin and stone) for the manufacture of animal feed compounds with high nutritional value, enriched with bioactives beneficial to animal health. On the other hand, the development of cosmetics and nutraceuticals with high added value from avocado.