Press Release:EU Project Cipromed started

CIrcular and Inclusive utilisation of alternative PROteins in the MEDiterranean value chains.


Current European agricultural production systems are heavily dependent on protein imports to cover the nutritional needs of aquaculture and livestock production, but also for human consumption. This situation

is especially valid for the Mediterranean Region, where drought and ecological deficits are worsening the

self-sufficiency of traditional protein supply chains. There is an urgent need for the EU for efficient, viable

and locally produced alternative protein sources.


Most agricultural farming systems produce a huge amount of livestock and crop residues, as well as a variety of side-streams. On a yearly basis, it is estimated that 27% of our agricultural production is lost, which corresponds to 1.6 billion tons on a global basis, valued at 750 billion US$ annually. Similarly, one-third of all food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted. These losses represent a big pool of untapped and underrated resources.

The main objective of the CIPROMED project is to increase the stability and resilience of Mediterranean

agri-food production systems through direct exploitation of locally produced traditional crops, as well as

by valorising the proteins from locally generated agri-industrial side-streams (e.g., brewer’s spent grain,

oilseed presscakes), and the upcycling and bioconversion of their extraction residues to protein produced

by insects, legumes, microalgae and fermentation products to be further utilized in the agri- food and feed


CIPROMED will use a multi-actor approach, where insects and microalgae will be produced exploiting agri-industrial residues and extraction side-streams as substrates and applying innovative rearing and

cultivation techniques to attain higher protein yields. To close the loop, insect frass will be used as soil

fertiliser for legume (lupins and faba beans) production. High quality protein ingredients from agri-industrial residues, insects, legumes and microalgae will be extracted for food and feed applications via

economically and environmentally sustainable extraction processes.

To achieve circularity, the residues generated by the extraction processes will be integrated in diets

formulated for insect rearing and heterotrophic microalgae cultivation, minimizing the residual amounts.

Microbial fermentation will be used to enhance the range, stability and health promoting functionality of

the new proteins. All protein ingredients will be fully characterized, in terms of nutritional value,

functional, biological properties and safety. Based on the generated results, new prototypes of food and

feed products containing the new protein ingredients will be formulated and validated using advanced

and optimised processing technologies.


CIPROMED aims to reduce the risk for the Mediterranean countries of being dependent on imported

protein sources and will help the participating countries to rely more on locally produced nutrient sources.

CIPROMED aims to adjust novel protein production to the unique Mediterranean conditions, creating a

new, socio-economically feasible and environmentally sustainable alternative protein value chain and

production system located in Mediterranean countries.

CIPROMED will elicit consumer perceptions/preferences around the new types of foods and feeds in the

Mediterranean Region, considering also the unique religious and cultural characteristics and demographic

differences of each participating country. In contrast to conventional agriculture, the production of the

most common commercially reared insect and heterotrophic microalgae species on by-product feeds is

characterised by considerably low Greenhouse Gas emissions (30-50% lower), having, therefore, a lower

environmental impact and contribution to global warming.

CIPROMED will focus on the improvement of human health by designing and evaluating alternative

proteins-based diets that will target metabolic and immune systems and promote human health.

Mediterranean countries will have to switch to farming systems with more efficient use of natural resources.


  1. University of Thessaly, UTH, Greece

  2. Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik e.V., DIL, Germany

  3. Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna, UNIBO, Italy

  4. University of Turin, UNITO, Italy

  5. Italian National Research Council, CNR, Italy

  6. Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, IIT, Israel

  7. Institut für Lebensmittel- und Umweltforschung e.V., ILU, Germany

  8. AlgaEnergy S.A., AE, Spain

  9. nextProtein Tunisia Sarl, NP, Tunisia

  10. SPAROS Lda, SPAROS, Portugal

  11. Flying Spark Ltd, FS, Israel

  12. AquaBioTech Group, ABT, Malta

  13. ELVIZ SA, ELVIZ, Greece

  14. RTD TALOS Ltd, TALOS, Cyprus

  15. Stolzenberger Bakery, SB, Germany

  16. Green Development and Innovation Association, GDI, Morocco

  17. Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, UGOE, Germany