Valorization of New High Added Value Compounds from European vine and wine production solid wastes – technological, economical and social issues

Project website

Duration: 36 months

Leader and partners

• France: Université Victor Segalen Department ISVV - Laboratoire d'oenologie (leader)
• France: Université de Technologie de Compiègne Department Génie des Procédés
• Switzerland: Ecole d'Ingénieurs de Changins
• Germany: Geisenheim Research Center
• France: SOFRALAB
• France: ESCOM

Funding organisations

• France: Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)
• Germany: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
• Switzerland: Bundesamt für Umwelt (BAFU)

Grapes are the world’s second largest fruit crop, with an annual production of 68 million tons in 2008. European countries, including Italy, France and Spain, are the most important producers, essentially for winemaking. Solid wastes from wineries have three sources: viticulture, vinification and aging. In viticulture, the most important waste is grape cane (1 ton/ha/year). In vinification, the waste concerns pomaces and lees. During ageing, barrels and more recently oak chips and staves are used. After two or three years, barrels are eliminated. Chips are small oak fragments macerating in the wine during a shorter time to obtain similar effects to the barrels. The chips and staves are also eliminated as solid wastes.

Waste management and valorization is of great importance and it becomes a matter of strategic and economic importance to increase the rate of recycling. The project answers the following points included in topic 3 of the program:

  • Adapt the existing process of recycling for a better separation and recovery of the waste materials;
  • Eco-innovation for the recycling technologies and new valuable compounds from the solid wastes;
  • Overcoming social and market barriers for using “by-products” from wastes
  • Create a market of the new products
  • Closing loops for the new recycling process and the residual solid wastes
  • Production of high value molecules from solid wastes

The aim of the project is the valorization of the grape solid wastes with green processes to produce valuables compounds for different applications:

  1. Extraction and purification of polyphenols from vinification wastes for cosmetic, pharmaceutic and agro-food industries
  2. Extraction of polyphenols and aromatic compounds from wood wastes (grape canes, barrels and chips) for wine or food flavor industries

The main goals to be pursued to achieve the general objective of this project can be resumed as follows :

  • Evaluation of the technical and economical feasibility of green processes (Pulsed Electric Fields - PEF, High Voltage Electric Discharges - HVED, Subcritical Water Extraction - SWE) for the extraction of valuable compounds
  • Identification of the best set parameters (treatment time, specific energy,…) to optimize the extraction yield of compounds from products (organic wastes and wood wastes)
  • Set up treatment protocols of practical use for the industry
  • Analysis of the impact of the treatment on the product quality
  • Industrial experiments to evaluate the use of the valuable molecules in wine industry
  • Cost, environmental, economic and social analysis for implementing the treatment stage compared with conventional extraction methods and for the valorization of the new compounds

Quality of the partnership is ensured by the respective skills, competencies and transnational added value in the field of the research and development project. Three countries concerned by wine production are integrated: France, Switzerland and Germany. The four public institutions have a complementary field of research: The laboratory of the University of Compiègne (F) in collaboration with ESCOM is specialized in the green processes proposed in the program; The Laboratory of oenology of the ISVV (coordinator of the project), University of Bordeaux (F) in collaboration with the two technology transfer units (Amarante Process and Polyphenols Biotech, ADERA) is devoted to the wine processes, polyphenols analysis and valorization and environmental analysis; the Engineers School of Changins (S) has a research department well implanted in viticulture and economic development. The section of economics and market research of the Geisenheim Research Center (G) is the complementary research center for the program. The SME associated to the project (Sofralab, F) develops and commercializes new oenological products.

The processes suggested in this project are environmental-friendly with a limited environmental impact. These extraction techniques provide higher selectivity, shorter extraction times and do not use toxic organic solvents. Some of them are non-thermal processes (PEF, HVED) and not energy consuming. For example, a recent publication shows that the permeabilisation of cells of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes requires a gentle PEF treatment at relative low electric field strengths, short residence times and low specific energy inputs (3.67 kJ/kg). Similarly, extraction with sub critical water produces higher extraction yields than those obtained during a traditional extraction with solvents which is beside less environmental-friendly. It is also necessary to take into account the fate of the wastes generated after extraction of the valuable compounds, and consequently to consider the indirect impact of the extraction step on the environment. First of all, this study will be the opportunity to collect information about the consumer’s perception for wines produced with environmental-friendly processes but also how they perceive the use of natural products resulting from waste recycling. To the best of our knowledge, this kind of information is not available actually. Moreover, the use of environmental-friendly processes such as those presented in this project as an alternative to the conventional extraction methods should decrease the environmental impact of the design processes of the products in which these valuable compounds are integrated (cosmetics, natural aromas, food additives, …). Thus, the use of environmental-friendly extraction processes induces an in-depth modification in the operating processes of the companies adhering to it. This could be very beneficial for the industrial sector in terms of recognition and image, as well as in terms of economic consequences and commitment of their staff.

Further information