UNIMI, UNIMORE, UNIPG
Abstract in inglese The reduction and valorization of agro-industrial wasted and their use in livestock is a win-win strategy successfully applied in many productive chains. The LIVE-HAZE project, promoted by five universities covering the whole national territory, is aimed at applying this philosophy to the post-harvesting phase of hazelnut. Two by-products originate from hazelnut during the post-harvesting processes: hazelnut shells, used as heating source, and hazelnut skins (HS), currently managed as waste. The main hypothesis driving the project, developed upon strong preliminary data obtained by members of the scientific team, is that HS can effectively be exploitable in livestock as a feed ingredient for ruminants or as polyphenols extract for monogastrics, increasing the sustainability of hazelnut production and animal farming, improving oxidative stability of animals and animal-derived food, meeting the consumer’s expectation for a sustainable and nutraceutical product. To achieve this goal, LIVE HAZE is organized in six work packages (WP) designed to deepen existing knowledge on the subject and apply it to the five most important livestock productive chains in Italy. The characterization of HS and the creation of polyphenols extract from HS (PHES) and green PHES (gPHES) in WP1 provide all details to plan the in vivo trials (WP2) involving beef cattle and bullocks, dairy cattle and calves, dairy ewes and lambs, pigs and broilers. Once the in vivo effects on oxidation, microbiota, performance, immunity, and serum protein expression have been investigated, we move on to the analysis of animal derived products (WP3). Characterization of meat, milk and colostrum derived from WP2 in terms of physical and chemical parameters, oxidative stability, shelf life, sensorial profile and newly acquired nutraceutical properties provide new insights for the assessment of the use of HS, PHES, and gPHES in livestock. The planned activities are accompanied by sustainability and social aspects investigation (WP4) aimed at pursuing in depth consumers engagement in LIVE-HAZE, exploring acceptability and emotional aspects related to circular economy, and at evaluating economic and environmental impact. LIVE-HAZE will be supported by a strong coordination and an effective communication plan, ensured by the participation of all involved research units. The positive impacts involve different sectors: post harvesting phase and industrial processes of hazelnut production, feed production, livestock farming, food industry and consumers. The expression of interest for collaboration signed by big companies and by the farms hosting the in vivo trials are the confirmation of the impact the project has. LIVE-HAZE will represent the first and crucial step towards the development of new protocols for hazelnut waste management, guaranteeing Italian companies and farms a significant place in the newly raised international “green” scenario.