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Conserval Poctep
Cidade da Cultura hosted the final conference of the project, led by Cetaqua Galicia, after three years of research to valorize wastewater and by-products of the canning industry

Closer to a circular canning industry thanks to Conserval Poctep

The Conserval Poctep project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund ERDF through the Interreg V-A Spain-Portugal Programme (POCTEP), held its final conference in Santiago de Compostela. During the event, “Towards a circular canning industry”, the consortium, led by Cetaqua Galicia, presented the results achieved to valorize solid and liquid streams of fish processing in products with greater added value and high business potential, such as volatile fatty acids, fish oils rich in Omega 3 and protein hydrolysates.

From the research carried out since April 2019 and the tests performed on an industrial scale in Galicia and Northern Portugal, results the application for a new patent and the identification of four technically viable residual streams for obtaining volatile fatty acids, compounds of great value for industries such as plastics, paints or lubricants.

As for fish by-products (heads, skins and spines), protein hydrolysates have been obtained, reaching a 70% protein extraction yield, and bioactivities have been found in them such as antioxidant, hepatoprotective and antihypertensive capacity. The extraction of fish oil has also been achieved by applying the technology of supercritical fluids, concentrating omega-3 fatty acids 50% with respect to the original oil of the raw material. The results presented are the outcome of the collaboration of the National Association of Manufacturers of Canned Fish and Seafood (ANFACO-CECOPESCA), the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), the Fundación Empresa-Universidad Gallega (FEUGA), the Universidade do Porto and the Association of Manufacturers of Canned Fish of Portugal (ANICP), with the coordination of Cetaqua Galicia.

The main actors, gathered in Santiago

The final event brought together the most important players in the sector. From the public sphere, Rosa Quintana, Conselleira do Mar of the Xunta de Galicia, was responsible for the opening. The round table was attended by Mercedes Rodríguez Moreda, Xeral Director of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Technological Innovation of the Consellería do Mar, Leticia Regueiro, Head of Sustainability and Circus Economy at ANFACO, Gumersindo Feijóo, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the USC, Roberto Alonso, Manager of CLUSAGA and Josefa de León, Vice President of VIRATEC; all moderated by Prof. Juan Lema, Professor of Chemical Engineering at USC. The closing of the day was in charge of Teresa Alvariño, Manager of Cetaqua Galicia, who, in her commitment to the circular economy, will try to give continuity to the promising project and bring new technologies closer to the productive fabric.