Duration of the project:
1.10.2019 – 31.3.2021
Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Portugal
Collaborating parties / partners:
University of Primorska, Faculty of Health Sciences, Slovenia
The cultivation and production of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) and its related acidic species (Prunus cerasus L.) have been of interest in several countries around the world. Although cherry seeds are currently used in the production of biomass residues, they are thought to be a major source of components of interest to the food and cosmetic industries. In this context, ecovalorization of these renewable resources is sought when converted to liquid mixtures that can later be used in the production of products with high added value substituting petroleum products for various applications. The liquefied compounds may be separated and used in the production of various chemical compounds or be re-condensed by conventional polymerization techniques to produce adhesives, plastics or polymers. The development of existing technologies, as well as the creation of new technologies for the exploitation of underutilized resources, represents an added value for companies in the sector, both economically and environmentally. This project aims at the valorization of a byproduct of biomass, cherry seeds, under the concept of biorefinery and in a green economy framework. Studies on low temperature liquefaction processes will be applied to cherry kernels, allowing them to exploit their potential in obtaining liquefied mixtures with specific
chemical and functional characteristics in order to develop value added products.
In addition, extracts potentially rich in phenolic compounds with strong antioxidant capacity and antibacterial potential will be tested during the project and analyzed as to their content in bioactive compounds as well as their biological activity. The project brings together a multidisciplinary team that includes experts in the areas of wood, environment, food, chemistry, microbiology and health, which will ensure a successfulimplementation of the project described above. It is intended that the processes will be developed with the aim of minimizing the environmental impact and the safety of the
operations, without, however, jeopardizing their economic viability.