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Optimal valorisation of locally processed biomass

Subject: innovative process and product development; optimal valorisation of by-products from plant and animal production and the associated processing industries; creation of added value

The vegetable and animal production and its related food industry in Flanders produces and processes large quantities of valuable biomass. The residual flows and by-products that are released are often only exploited to a limited extent and/or have a low added value. The most important part of these streams are often seen as waste and represent a potential burden for the environment. The objective in current research projects is to reduce the negative impact on the overall sustainability of the processing industry by optimising the use of biomass and developing innovative valorisation strategies for the unused biomass fraction.

Current ILVO focus

  • Evaluation and screening of the nutritional value and functionality of by-products from the food industry and bioenergy production as feed ingredients and/or additives in animal production.
  • Characterisation (biochemical, nutritional, ...) of biomass streams that are important for Flanders in order to identify and quantify their health-promoting components.
  • Applying innovative technologies to produce innovative, healthier, cheaper or more sustainable food and feed ingredients and other bio-based products.
  • Characterisation of by-products of the bioeconomy for use as fertilisers or soil improvers to compensate for the effect of biomass removal on soil fertility and quality.

Direction of future research

  • Development of advanced technologies to stabilise unused valuable biomass through physicochemical and biological processes
  • Research on the influence of genetic background, growing conditions, harvest, storage and processing conditions on the accumulation of specific components.
  • In vitro and in vivo validation/demonstration (human/animal) of the functionality of innovative ingredients/products rich in or enriched with specific components (bio-active substances, fibres, proteins, fats...).
  • Evaluation of the economic feasibility and overall sustainability (LCA) of the newly developed processs/products
  • Demonstration projects that highlight the success stories of optimised biomass valorisation tracks.


  1. Valorisation of residual flows from the agri-food chain
  2. Food Pilot
  3. Meet@all: Metabolite identification & characterisation in biomass streams
  4. Valorisation of biomass flows in animal feed
  5. Fish silage: a profitable source of protein in animal feed?
  6. Valorisation of vegetable waste streams
  7. Food from Food
  8. BioBoost
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