Grassa! and LIOF bring high-quality processing of vegetable waste streams one step closer to reality

Using a biorefinery installation, Grassa! refines low-grade plant material into various high-grade products such as proteins, minerals, and fibres. These products are processed once more to produce pet food and livestock feed. Thanks to this approach, Grassa! is contributing to the circular economy and supporting the growth of more sustainable food production. Grassa! now wants to use its knowledge and skills to process vegetable waste flows and plans to build a fully equipped biorefinery installation to achieve this. LIOF is providing a loan to Grassa! through the LBDF programme in order to develop a prototype.

Circular economy

Refining plant material and vegetable waste streams is a good example of the circular economy. The biorefinery process squeezes green raw material, such as grass, to produce a ‘juice’ containing proteins, sugars, and minerals that can in turn be used in the food and feed industry. While refinery products from plant material can only be used for pet food and livestock feed, refinery products from vegetable residues can also be used in the human food sector. Products that can be processed for this purpose include beans, peas, leeks, carrot leaves, spinach, kale, sprouts, and lettuce.

Sustainable local production

But Grassa! offers more. The use of mobile equipment enables the refinery process to be carried out locally, catering to the growing market for locally produced products. But biorefinery also creates a sustainable food chain. For example, the protein extracted from vegetables is a good substitute for soya meal as the main source of protein in cattle feed. There are many drawbacks to the production of soya meal, such as the environmental impact of the clearing of the Amazonian forest in Latin America and the fact that soya meal has often been genetically modified.

Grassa! helps businesses and saves money

The vegetable processing industry is worth about $270 billion worldwide. On average, vegetable processing produces 13% waste, most of which is either landfilled or composted. The latter is what the Grassa! biorefinery installation can save costs on thanks to the on-location processing of vegetables, which in turn lowers transport costs.
However, Grassa! offers a broader service than just machines: it also markets refinery products. This is a great help for producers in horticulture and arable farming.

Vegetable nuggets: a tasty result

At the beginning of 2018, a protein concentrate by Grassa! was used as the base ingredient for the first ‘GroenteNuggets’ (Dutch for ‘vegetable nuggets’). Not only do these GroenteNuggets taste delicious, but they also have a better nutritional value than normal nuggets thanks to technology by Grassa! that produces up to five times more protein!

Business in Limburg

Grassa! has its office in the Bio Treat Center on Venlo's Brightlands Greenport Campus Venlo. The Bio Treat Center is an open innovation centre for treating and processing biomass and residual flows into semi-finished products and products for the bio-based economy. LIOF is strongly committed to strengthening the agri-food sector in Limburg, in collaboration with the Brightlands Greenport Campus Venlo. The Grassa! concept shows how entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainability in the agri-food sector can go hand in hand. Given that this is a great boost for business in Limburg, LIOF wholeheartedly supports this initiative!