European fruit chains can increase the value they create from their co-products, like apple pomace or apricot pits. These are underexploited and could be locally valorized according to the full principles of circular economy! In Wallis, south Switzerland, FAIRCHAIN partners are producing vinegar via fermentation of wet co-products like apple pomaces. This vinegar has many promising applications in agronomy and detergency. After making vinegar, the left-over is used to feed mealworms for alternative protein sources, and bio-digested to produce renewable energy and compost.

In parallel, an innovative regional business concept can valorize apricot pits and other woody coproducts using pyrolysis technology to generate three valuable outputs: local renewable heat, biochar-based fertilizer/soil enhancer, and carbon credits contributing to regional climate strategies.

This cascade of fruit co-product valorization has started to generate new regional and circular business models based on the use of apple pomace for vinegar and pits as biochar and renewable heat. These innovations can add value to the business models of at least seven regional organizations, including Biofruits and Cogiterre.

The photos above show some phytosanitary tests on the field and the production of the vinegar from co-products (decantation phase).