CARE-Coffee: the validation of preprocessing steps

Coffee colorants and textile dyeing


CARE-Coffee: the validation of preprocessing steps


1 July 2020 / 1 December 2020

VIDA Challenges

Resource-efficient food processing


Coffee consumption creates enormous amounts of waste. Only 0,02% of the coffee bean is used to make coffee. The remaining 98,8%, called spent coffee grounds (SCG), is incinerated and therefore valuable resources are lost. Two Dutch SMEs are working together on maximizing the value of the coffee chain by building a biorefinery to process SCGs into oil, colorants and a valuable residue. One of the main challenges of the pilot test line is the feedstock heterogeneous quality. SCG quality is influenced by two external conditions: 1) coffee brewing process and 2) degradation due to environmental conditions. In this project we will validate the preprocessing steps: pretreatment and storage of SCGs. Thus, avoiding losses due to low feedstock quality and securing large scalability of the biorefinery. With this VIDA subsidy we are focusing on testing the preprocessing steps of a SCG pilot process line in an operational environment.

The food sector is under enormous pressure, threatened by challenges like health issues, climate change and unsustainable agricultural practices. The food system can become more resilient by making use of residual organic waste streams to generate (economic, social and environmental) value along the whole supply chain. These residual organic streams are currently often perceived as ‘waste’, because they cannot directly be used as food or consumer products. Moreover, most coffee farmers are living in poverty, therefore they do not have the means to invest in sustainable agriculture. This has an impact on their yield and quality of the beans and the biodiversity on their plantations. We aim to distribute the value we create, by getting more resources out of the coffee bean than just coffee, along the chain. By doing this, we provide an opportunity for the coffee farmers to invest in more sustainable agricultural practices. Herewith, we hope to make sure future generations can also enjoy a world with coffee.

Coffee oil & lip balms as a product


CaffeInk VOF


Spaak Circular Solutions b.v.

Social Media/Hashtags

#careforcoffee #wastetoresource #circulareconomy #coffee #innovation #caffeink