BAQUA aims to demonstrate that sustainability and efficiency can be applied to agricultural practices by improving management and reducing waste of a native crop and revalorizing it into a series of new value chains.

BAQUA’s specific objectives are focused on the:

1.- Optimization of waste management of banana production through an innovative extraction process.

BAQUA will aim at turning waste into a resource, by recycling a waste currently considered valueless (banana pseudostem) by means of a novel methodology for extracting natural fibres and pulp. This will reduce waste during harvesting and final consumption, thereby cutting out the need and cost for waste transportation.

2.- Environmental benefits derived from the improved agro-wastes management

as a result of the project actions and monitoring activities in the pilot area (900 ha) regarding NO2 and CO2 emissions and taking into account 2 different scenarios. The main aspect is that the expected results are aligned with one of the most important commitments the EU has for the following years and the Roadmap 2050 towards a low carbon economy (which suggests for the farming sector a reduction of the GHG emissions of a 36-37% for 2030 and 42-49% for 2050).

3.- Development of a circular economy strategy between sectors involved in the project.

Maximize the use of banana crop waste, demonstrating how natural fibres from pseudostems can be used as a cheap and natural additive for reinforcement for 100% biobased and biodegradable (92-98%) plastic and can also substitute synthetic additives present in polymeric plastic parts of high volume production sectors. The circle is completed by using banana pseudostem pulp as natural antioxidants in fish feed, replacing synthetic materials.

4.- Improvement of the nutritional quality in fish feed. 

Banana crops have been extensively studied due to their high content of antioxidants. Pulp from fibres extracting process will be used in the manufacturing process of fish feed. Synthetic substances are currently added as anti-oxidative products to fish feed in order to reduce oxidation and thereby improve lifetime of the final product. Current trends in feed and food industries move towards reducing or eliminating these harmful substances (especially since some of them have even been proven carcinogenic) with the use of other antioxidants from natural sources. In addition, antioxidants from natural sources reduce the dependence of other natural sources to produce fish feed (such as corn crops), which directly compete with the market for human food.