Project PRECIOUS is part of the 2016 strategic research agenda of the CLEVER Innovation Cluster, financed under the ROP Piemonte ERDF 2014-2020. The partners involved in the project include: Reynaldi srl, Environment park SpA e PEOCEMSA SpA; in collaboration with UNITO-DBIOS e POLITO –DISAT.
PRECIOUS stands for Utilizzo di Polifenoli per lo sviluppo di Cosmetici ed Integratori ad elevata Sostenibilità (use of polyphenols for the development of environmentally friendly cosmetics and food supplements).
The project originates from the promising results achieved within the feasibility study “POLIWINE”. Such feasibility study has demonstrated how to extract in an efficient and environmentally-sustainable way antioxidant compounds (total polyphenols, anthocyanins, resveratrol) from waste biomass, such as grape pulp, obtained as a result of the vinification process of some Piedmontese varieties. The study has also demonstrated the feasibility of creating completely natural cosmetics and personal care products enhanced with the polyphenols extracted from the grape pulp. Such compounds can also replace the similar compounds, extracted by conventional chemical methods and thus more polluting.
Building on this results, project PRECIOUS aims at widening the range of bioactive compounds that can be obtained from agro-industrial production waste (in particular grape pulp and grape seeds after vinification and distillation). This can be achieved through the optimisation of the extraction processes (innovative and environmentally sustainablr extraction pilot tests) and the implementation of a membrane purification system, which allows to obtain the single compounds (ultra and nano filtration, reverse osmosis).
Furthermore, project PRECIOUS aims at making more bioavailable the active compounds purified through the use of silica-based inorganic carrier, favouring its active release in specific environments, such as skin or stomach acid, which can inhibit its real absorption, thus limiting the desired antioxidant effect. The functionalised carriers are used for the elaboration and realization of a completely natural cosmetics and food supplements line, distinguished by its high bioavailability of antioxidant substances.
Environment Park carried out pilot tests concerning pre-treatment and waste biomass extraction operations, in accordance with the directions provided by the partners in order to obtain the relevant bioactive compounds. The pilot tests were necessary for carrying out the subsequent activities (purification and characterisation of the bioactive compound, functionalisation with inorganic carriers, realisation of the cosmetic products and food supplements).