Circular scale-up PeelPioneers builds the largest peel factory in Europe

Mihai Cristea 05/10/2020 | 15:32

Dutch scale-up PeelPioneers is building Europe’s largest peel processing factory in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. Supermarkets, restaurants and hotels that offer freshly-squeezed orange juice to their customers now have an effective, sustainable way to dispose of their growing pile of peels. Supported by a strong consortium of investors, the new plant triples the company’s processing capacity to 120,000 thousand kilos of peels per day. PeelPioneers plans to expand into Europe with five new peel processing plants in the next five years.

 

The new factory builds on the strong trend in many European countries of consumers that increasingly appreciate freshly squeezed orange juice.  In addition to scaling up production, the plant in  Den Bosch will enable PeelPioneers to extract even more value from peels. PeelPioneers’ scientists have developed new citrus peel products, such as dietary fibers that offer strength and structure to meat substitutes bakery products, and sauces and ensure the right mouth sensation. With this, PeelPioneers wants to contribute to the protein transition. 

 

Proprietary pioneering technology

PeelPioneers’ proprietary pioneering technology provides a one hundred percent circular solution for these peels that in most countries end up getting destroyed in an incinerator. The company extracts orange oil and other much-wanted raw materials that food manufacturers use in products such as beer, lemonade, muffins and chocolate. The raw materials that PeelPioneers derives from orange peels are also sold to manufacturers of non-food products such as detergents and cosmetics.

Sytze van Stempvoort, co-founder of PeelPioneers: “With the growing demand for freshly squeezed juice, the number of peels is also growing. We make food from food. In this process, the entire incoming stream is retained in the food chain. With the new factory in Den Bosch, we will soon be able to save even more peels from the incinerator. We are scaling up to one hundred and twenty thousand kilos of peels a day: an Olympic swimming pool full.”

Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, startup ambassador and Special Envoy of TechLeap.nl: “True pioneers! Excellent news that PeelPioneers is now scaling up rapidly with the building of a new factory. They show that good and big, responsible and ambitious, circular and commercially reinforce each other. Power on!”

 

Strong investment consortium

PeelPioneers is actively supported by a strong investment consortium consisting of Rabobank, the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs (Top Sector Energy Grant), het Nationale Groenfonds, the Brabant Development Agency, European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), and initial investor DOEN Participaties.

Peter Nieuwenhuizen, ECBF: “This is the first investment that ECBF is making, and we are excited that it is in PeelPioneers. We are convinced about the strength of the PeelPioneers team and the potential of its technology, which will deliver tangible, new circular business activity in Europe.”

 

European rollout

PeelPioneers is also exploring an European rollout, to take away the ever-growing pile of peels from supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants in target countries where the stream of orange peels is growing, while offering them a one hundred percent circular solution.

Bas van Wieringen, co-founder of PeelPioneers: “PeelPioneers is the largest producer of raw materials from citrus peels in Northwest Europe. In this way, we are responding to the growing need of our North-West European customers for a local supply chain. Thanks to the local production of high-quality food ingredients, they are no longer dependent on seasonal oranges or transport from outside Europe. In this way, we contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions.”

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