Looking back at the 2nd Annual Consortium Meeting

On April 16 and 17, 2024, Foodscale Hub hosted the 2nd Annual IMPRESS Consortium meeting  in Thessaloniki. The meeting’s objective was to share progress, exchange ideas, and plan future steps.

Exploring the latest progress

Starting with MIR-PIB, which conducted a survey spanning six countries, where more than 6,000 respondents provided valuable insights into the dynamics of consumer decision-making regarding food choices. The survey’s ultimate goal is to understand the factors driving consumer preferences, particularly related to plant-based products and a report of its findings will be ready in July 2024. Preliminary findings suggest that different factors influence consumer behavior across various demographic groups.

In the same light, co-creation workshops have been initiated to foster collaboration and innovation in the development of plant-based products. The first workshop, held in Poland last February, laid the groundwork for future sessions that are scheduled to take place in Ireland (Dublin) and Spain (Vigo) in May.

TEAGASC is developing new and sustainable methods to extract useful materials from seafood byproducts. They are using ultrasounds and microwaves to extract chitin and chitosan from shrimp shells and are also working on optimizing protein recovery from fish waste. TCD is exploring the separation and extraction of valuable components from processing water samples using membrane filtration techniques which can then be used to cultivate duckweeds at UCC.

Meanwhile, ANFACO is focusing on extracting and characterizing components from octopus cooking water, evaluating its suitability for microalgae cultivation and valuable ingredient recovery.

ANGAZ has started preparing for the Life Cycle Assessment that will be conducted on the project’s novel ingredients, processes and products. 

UCC is working on physicochemical characterization of seafood processing waters to optimize duckweed cultivation, comparing growth in different side streams. 

ESHKOL is using supercritical fluid extraction to isolate sterols and lipophilic compounds from Lemna, a type of duckweed

Innovative and sustainable packaging solutions are also at the core of the IMPRESS Project. TCD has been investigating the thermal stability and antifungal properties of fucoidan and laminarin-based packaging materials. Meanwhile, COMEX is working on the application of NFC labels for enhanced security and traceability in seafood packaging.