Noshan project: interview with project manager, Mrs Elisenda Casanelles

NOSHAN project will need further research to be implemented in the industry

Photo by Lisa Stevens / CC BY 4.0

NOSHAN is an ambitious research project funded by the EU that targets to create cheaper and eco – friendly fodder while improving the health of animals. Scientists in Belgium, Spain and other european countries have been conducting tests on animals, such as piglets with an experimental feed made up from olive oil waste and a mixture of soya and cereals. As Mrs Elisenda Casanelles, biologist and project manager of NOSHAN, explains to Agrotypos, further research needs to be done to implement all this process into the industry. Nevertheless, the concept of NOSHAN as well as its possible benefits make it something to be looking forward to. Below you can read the asnwers Mrs. Casanelles gave us in our exclusive interview.

1.Ηοw did the initial idea of the Noshan project came up? How many people are working on it and which countries participate?

The Noshan project came up in a context where one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year, approximately 1,3 billion tons, get lost or wasted . This clearly highlights the urge for the reduction of food waste. Despite the obvious potential, the utilization of feed from waste in diet formulation until now has been negligible, due to several nutritional and technical constraints. Taking the aforementioned background into account, NOSHAN investigates new tailored valorisation paths for fruit, vegetable, root and tubers, cereals as well as dairy wastes by developing new technological / biotechnological and downstream processing tools for the production of functional and safe feed

NOSHAN partners represent different segments of the R&D environment, from industry leaders to technological centers, universities and innovative SMEs from Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, The Netherlands and Turkey.

More information can be found at:

2.In simple words, what are the goals of this project and what are the benefits that will eventually come from the Noshan project?

The objective of NOSHAN project is to use food waste for animal feed production at low cost, with low energy consumption and with maximal valorisation of waste materials

In particular, Noshan has two main goals:

  • The replacement of bulk feed ingredients with part of the huge amount of waste materials generated in the food manufacturing process.
  • The study and valorization of the active ingredients present in the waste for possible application in other products

The benefits have to do with the increasing reuse potential of food waste and reducing organic waste, greenhouse emissions, energy consumption, raw material inputs and water usage in the feed chain. Turning agricultural and industrial waste into animal feed opens up new opportunities for farmers while cutting Europe’s dependence on feed imports.

3. Will the final products be used in the animal feeding industry and when should be expecting that? Will these feeds be cheaper compared to those used at the moment ? Can you give us some numbers?

The results demonstrated the feasibility of food waste and by-products valorisation for feed production, but further research needs to be carried out to introduce these ingredients and these technologies into the market. Meanwhile, six exploitable technologies with high impact in the food/feed and organic waste management sectors are identified and a strategy of exploitation has been defined with the partners, owners of these technologies jointly with other partners that have interest in using these results.

4. Apart from onion skins and olive oil waste, can you give us some examples of waste food you’ re planning to use in the near future from the catalogue you have created?

Waste food such as cheese residues, pumpkin kernel cake, malted barley germs, brewing cake, yogurt, milk whey, fresh pumpkin and rapeseed press cake have been used. No more products will be tested since the project ended on January 2016.

5.What’s the total budget of the project or the current budget? How easy was it to get money from the EU for the Noshan project?

Total budget: 3M. Is it easy to find finacial resources to support a scientific project?

Since the chance of getting financial funding for projects of this kind is getting more competitive, specially within the H2020 framework, it is important to build an ambitious project proposal that offers innovative value to the topic covered.

At the moment, the rate of success in aching funding within the H2020 fundig scheme is 3%. It is NEVER easy to get funds. A lot of work needs to be done in the proposal preparation and only the projects with more potential are choosen since each project goes thorugh a very strict process of evaluation and selection.

6.A major problem of European as well as Greek farmers are production costs that keep growing. Do you think that your project can help towards the direction of maintaing these costs at a more manageable level?

The achievement of the project objectives would bring companies a competitive advantage in the feed producing sector using wastes as co-streams. NOSHAN results should bring a reduction in cost of the final feed as well as production cost. Indeed it could also reduce the cost of feed additive and exert a positive impact on final feed product. Nevertheless, further research needs to be done to implement all this process into the industry. We would need a “Noshan 2” let’s say.

Moreover, turning agricultural waste into animal feed would open up new opportunities for farmers while cutting Europe’s dependence on feed imports. This would, in turn, create new green jobs in waste collection, treatment plants and feed manufacturing. The concept will be particularly welcome in rural areas, where growth is less intensive than in urban areas, and where the feed industry is a powerful economic engine.

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