Cooperation with Natac for OLEAF4VALUE project


OLEAF4VALUE is a three-year project that will develop a complete valorization system for the olive leaf. This project is inside the program “European funds of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking” and it’s framed in the new European pillar of bioeconomy and sustainability. It will also contribute to bring together primary producers from the olive sector in Spain with biotech and pharma companies all over Europe. It will be coordinated by Natac Biotech SL, a Spanish company leader in natural food supplement ingredients.

The project

4,5 million tons of olive leaves are produced annually in the world by the olive oil industry, a key industry in southern Europe and along the Mediterranean coast (Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Slovenia, amongst others). This recalcitrant biomass represents a problem for both the farmers and the whole olive oil industry, who need to remove it from the fields and the olive oil mills. This biomass is nowadays burnt in the fields, given to the cattle or, in some cases, combusted to produce energy.

The olive leaves will be fully characterized during this three-year project. This includes different olive varieties as well as identifying and profiling new exclusive varieties from Spain. Parameters such as the influence of ripeness, seasonal variations, effect of pre-treatment and stabilization process of the leaf composition, etc. will be studied. 

All this knowledge will be combined with state-of-the-art extraction technologies in order to develop new and innovative products and phytochemical combinations for different applications. The olive leaf phytochemical profile is highly variable depending on all this factors and allow to produce a great variety of different products. The goal of OLEAF4VALUE is to set up the basis of a smart value chain based on a newly developed 4.0 concept: Smart Dynamic Multi-Valorization-Route Biorefinery (SAMBIO) for the cascade valorization of the olive leaf biomass according to its physicochemical composition.

Mibelle Biochemistry as partner

Mibelle Biochemistry is partnering this project by covering the cosmetic formulation aspects. This includes analyzing the profile and composition of the raw material and proposing commercializing ideas. The project also includes the application of several post-extraction technologies like micro/nano encapsulation, chemical derivatization and enzymatic biotransformation among others, allowing to obtain new and more active molecules with application in the cosmetic industry. We would like to develop disruptive and differentiated high value bioactive fractions that can be applied in new cosmetic formulations.

More information can be found here:

Written by

PhD Carlos Muñoz-Hernando