Silos de Leixões collaborates with INEGI to reduce and value cereal surpluses
With the specialized support of INEGI, the agro-food logistics company Silos de Leixões is developing new methods to reduce waste and enhance the by-products of cereal processing and storage.
Faced with an increasingly competitive market, the project was born out of the need to achieve a greater economic recovery of food surpluses, in this case cereals, while also mitigating the environmental impacts associated with long periods of storage or deterioration.
“Wheat residues such as bran and cereal powder, for example, are discarded, which is reflected in significant logistical costs. However, following the logic of circular economy and zero waste, giving them new uses - whether by producing new food products or turning one companies waste into anothers raw material - results in a more economically profitable and more environmentally sustainable operation”, explains António Baptista, responsible for the project at INEGI.
Titled Co-CerealValue, the project counts on INEGIs contribution in its two of the main lines of action.
The first focuses on the development of an industrial symbiosis assessment framework developed by INEGI. "It is a methodology that evaluates and maps the intensity and possibility of processes / operations of industrial symbiosis, or in other words, the ecosystem of companies that establish relationships for the sharing or exchange of resources and byproducts", says António Baptista. "It allows for the mapping waste, calculating of costs and quantifying of the eco-efficiency of the operation by assessing the resource efficiency and environmental impact associated with each potential symbiosis route. The new framework, which was based on an innovative methodology co-developed by INEGI and The University of Cambridge (Institute for Manufacturing - IfM, which is part of the Co-Cereal Value Project Advisory Board), has already been completed, with due adaptations to the reality of the operations of Silos de Leixões and GERMEN, and we are currently in the process of testing and validation".
The second line focuses on the development of a sensing system, associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0. In order to make it possible to monitor key variables throughout the entire cereal path along the value chain, thereby reducing waste, the consortium has “INEGI’s expertise in the area of complex product development, in particular mechatronic systems, and in the typology of smart-objects”.
The project, which also has the collaboration of the Escola Superior de Biotecnologia of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, also aims to develop new products for human and animal food, namely new granules and pellets.
The project “Co-CerealValue: Sustainable valorisation of cereal processing and storage by-products” is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) under the COMPETE 2020 program.