Polytechnic Institute
of Bragança



CIMO - Mountain Research Center. See video HERE



Project Description

OLEAF4VALUE is a research and innovation action (RIA) funded by the European Union (H2020 -JTI-BBI) focused on tackling the problem generated by olive biomass through the development of a complete olive leaf upcycling system.

This three-year project that will develop a complete valorization system for the olive leaf. 4,5 million ton of olive leaves are produced annually in the world by the olive oil industry, a key industry in southern Europe and along the Mediterranean coast (Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Slovenia, among others). This recalcitrant biomass represents a problem for both the farmers and the whole olive oil industry, who need to remove it from the fields and the olive oil mills. This biomass is nowadays burnt in the fields, given to the cattle or, in some cases, combusted to produce energy.

OLEAF4VALUE will put together a competitive consortium of highly experienced partners devoted to the complete valorization of this new underexploited biomass. The consortium will address all the stages of the value chain: raw material, biorefining, post-extraction technologies, market validation and sustainability assessment.

The goal of OLEAF4VALUE is to set up the basis of a smart value chain based on a newly developed 4.0 concept: Smart Dynamic Multi-Valorization-Route Biorefinery (SAMBIO) for the cascade valorization of the olive leaf biomass according to its physicochemical composition, particularly modulated by specific pretreatments to produce target products. Advanced green extraction and isolation technologies will be used to sequentially separate all fractions and compounds of value, with a zero-waste approach. Enzymatic biotransformation and nanoencapsulation technologies will be applied to develop tailor made prototypes according to end user market needs from high value sectors: food, feed, health, cosmetic, pharma and chemical industries. Large companies from these sectors within the consortium will guarantee a good market-oriented approach throughout the project.

Researchers of Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO) of the Instituto Politécnico de Bragança (IPB) participating in the OLEAF4VALUE project will be enrolled with the development of novel isolation technologies based on molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). These studies include the design, synthesis and testing of MIPs to target secoiridoids, triterpenic acids, flavonoids and lignans present in olive leaves. This includes the optimization of polymerization conditions for imprinting by changing functional monomers, crosslinkers or porogens, among other reactants. CIMO/IPB research team will also work on the assembly, control and optimization of a MIP technology - based process prototype. These tasks aim at the efficient recovery of high valued-products from olive leaf extracts. Among other techniques, supercritical extraction with CO2 will also be used by CIMO/IPB research team to obtain olive leaf bioactive compounds.

OLEAF4VALUE will link the primary olive sector from southern Europe with large multinationals from the high valued competitive markets in a circular bioeconomy project.

Project Team

Project Partners

Project Details

  • Web Site:
  • Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking: BBI-2020-SO2-R4
  • Grant Agreement Number: 101023256
  • Coordinator: NATAC BIOTECH SL
  • Starting date: July 2021
  • Duration: 36 months