European projects


Innovative utilization strategies for biomass from sunflower

The sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is one of the world’s four most important plants¬†with rapeseed, soy and peanut for edible oil production. In addition, the seeds are also used as ingredients in breads, granola bars, snacks.

The aim of the Helicas project is to develop bio-cascading through new uses of sunflower and to integrate besides seeds, stem as well as leaves and flowers, the actual carrier of biomass, which contain many valuable ingredients in further processing. This eliminates the costly disposal of large quantities of biomass.

Furthermore, the press cake, a residue of oil pressure, can also be further used as a food ingredient. It contains valuable proteins, carbohydrates and other bioactive compounds with health-promoting properties and offers a number of alternative uses in the food and non-food industries. Therefore a new source of income can be opened for the production companies and the approximately 450 000 European farmers, who are active in this sector.

Diverse possibilities of valorisation improve the overall performance of the involved sunflower farmers, consequently they achieve a higher degree of flexibility and financial independence.

Industrial goals of the project:

  • Alternative income opportunities for sunflower farmers and manufacturing companies through research, monitoring and selection of those uses. The most efficiently use of plant biomass in an ecologically and economically way.
  • Development of an optimized production process and methodology for the production of innovative products
  • Production of attractive new products for the “Wellness-Age”
  • Stimulation of eco-tourism

Social and environmental objectives of the project:

  • Saving of resources (energy, fertilizer) due to higher total return from the biomass.
  • Support the recovery of specific products with high quality ingredients for the cosmetic and wellness industry as well as the functional food area.
  • Development of new alternative sources of income and create new jobs in rural areas.

Project Coordinator
TTZ Bremerhaven

Project partners
alchemia-nova GmbH institute for innovative phytochemistry and closed loop processes
Universitatea de Medicina si Stiinte Agricole Veterinara Cluj- Napoka
Szent Istvan Egyetem (University Godollo)
Sunflower Park Tulbing
Farmer Helmut Lamp S. C. COMCEREAL
Farmer Ramon Garcia- Martin Phytopatent
Primavera Life (Essential Oils and Cosmetics)
ARGE organic fish (Organic Fish Farming)
Fandler oil mill (Oil Mill)

Project status: completed