In the context of the present research project, liquid extracts of polyphenol olive fruit already produced by POLYHEALTH S.A. are to be combined with extracts of the solid wastes of pomegranate and orange juice industry in order to examine potential synergism of them as natural antimicrobials. The natural extracts will be obtained by using innovative technologies like vacuum microwave assisted extraction, advanced ultrasonic mixing and homogenization and encapsulation by freeze drying and they are planned to be in the following forms:

  • One or more encapsulated powders of mixed extracts with confirmed effect on food and cosmetic -borne yeasts and fungi.
  • One or more powders of encapsulated mixed extracts with confirmed effect on food and cosmetic-borne bacteria.
  • One or more liquid solutions obtained by mixing of liquid olive fruit polyphenols with liquid extracts of pomegranate and/or orange juice industry solid wastes with confirmed action against plant and tree foliar phyto-pathogens.
  • One or more liquid solutions obtained by mixing liquid olive fruit polyphenols with liquid extracts of pomegranate and/or orange juice industry solid wastes with confirmed action against soil phyto-pathogens.

The innovation of these products is two-way because their production is aimed to exploit waste produced in large quantities from agricultural industries and at the same time to yield useful and high added value products by taking advantage of last generation advanced processing technologies such as microwave extraction, membrane technology, ultrasound homogenization and encapsulation and drying by lyophilization.

In addition, the ecological and social footprint of the new products is going to have two dimensions: (a) the proper utilization of the polluting solid waste from agricultural and food industries and (b) the production of finished products which will substitute chemical preservatives dangerous to human health such as nitrites, sorbates and others of the same kind used in cosmetics.

POLYHEALTH S.A., which is a knowledge-intensive company, has already taken significant steps in the topic of natural antimicrobials and has recently obtained patents for the preservation of sausages and other foods using its products that are a synergy of polyphenol with various natural substances. With the implementation of this program, it is expected that additional improved and highly effective natural synergy antimicrobial products will be produced and that the company will enter in the market of organic plant protection products. This way, it is anticipated to significantly increase its revenue, which will allow POLYHEALTH S.A. to recruit more skilled staff and workers and thus to contribute to higher employment and added value creation.

In recent years there has been a strong trend to substitute chemical preservatives in food which is directed both by sensitized consumer groups and by large food companies such as NESTLE which has planned by 2020 the complete substitution of the chemical preservatives it uses in its products with natural and harmless for the health of the consumer.

The same trend occurs in the cosmetics industry where there is a need for preservative substitution (e.g. parabens) but also in the sector of agrochemicals it is equally necessary to replace chemical phyto-protectants with user-safe and environmentally friendly natural preparations.

The optimized novel products which are expected to be produced through the implementation the results of this research proposal, in line with the above-mentioned global trend, are to lead POLYHEALTH S.A. to high added value exports in new markets and create additional profitability and further investment in high-level equipment and human resources. They are also going to bring environmental benefits due to greater and multifaceted absorption and exploitation of the solid wastes produced by agricultural industries.

The proposed technical and economic feasibility study , in the context of the research program, will also help in this direction and will be an important advisory tool for the successful implementation of the targeted new and innovative activity.