News

29.06.2022

Director of NORSUS, Ellen-Marie Forsberg, gave today an invited intervention at the 1st European Innovation Area Summit in the European Parliamnent. EU Commissioner for Research, Mariya Gabriel, Members of the European Parliament and other experts gathered to discuss the path forward for the new European innovation agenda. Forsberg argued for building up competence and capacity for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the implementation of the European Commission's important Missions agenda: To succeed with our grand societal challenges ordinary citizens must be properly involved.

20.06.2022

På engelsk: Our researcher Clara Valente presented “Sustainability of innovative solutions for agri-food processing” at the final consortium meeting in the iNOBox project at Nofima, Stavanger on date 14-15th June 2022. iNOBox-A Technology- and Market-driven Innovation e-Toolbox towards a Sustainable, Competitive & Science-based Agri-Food Industry in Norway, was funded by the Norwegian Research Council in the BIONÆR programme (p.nr 281106). The research was carried out by Nofima, NORSUS, Veterinærinstituttet, University of Liverpool, Campden BRI, University of Zaragosa, TNO and industrial partners were Fjordland, Matvarehuset, Fjordkjøkken, Matbørsen, Advanced Microwave Technologies AMT, ELEA; Hiperbaric, UV Yechnology Ltd, BAMA, Findus, Den Stolte Hane and Hoff. The total project budget was 30 MNOK and the time period was 2018 to 2022. The project focuses on the introduction of “more efficient, profitable and sustainable processing, ensuring the supply of safe, high-quality and nutritious foods in the Norwegian food industry”. Here you can read more.

Our research in the iNOBox project has focused on assessing the sustainability of a selection of innovative food processing technologies which aim to preserve food quality and increase shelf-life by means of environmental and social LCA. The main goal was to show if the introduction of innovative food processing treatment can contribute to enhanced environmental and social performances in the food production chains compared to the conventional food processing alternative.

17.06.2022

What makes a circular livestock system sustainable, and how can this be measured? This was some of the questions discussed by project participants, industry partners and Nordic experts during the gathering in the LIVESTOCK projectin June

A lot of work has already been done in the project, with e.g. development of models and results for each individual livestock system. In the last part of the project, scenarios for 2040 will be created for various trends, and it will be analysed how sustainable these are, both environmentally, socially and economically.

A lot of work has already been done in the project, with e.g. development of models and results for each individual livestock system. In the last part of the project, scenarios for 2040 will be created for various trends, and it will be analysed how sustainable these are, both environmentally, socially and economically.

Some of the topics discussed were the possibilities for transformation towards a circular food system in 2040 compared to the current intensification trend, and how it can affect animal welfare, social aspects for the farmer and the local community, economic effects and what political instruments are needed. The project will continue until the summer of 2023 and the results will be published in scientific articles.

Photo: Håkon Sparre, NMBU

14.06.2022

From January 1, 2023, there will be new and stricter requirements for separation of food waste and plastic waste! 

This applies to municipal waste (households and industry) and agricultural plastic. 

Read more about the requirement on regjeringen.no

The municipalities must achieve a sorting rate of at least 55% from 2025, 60% from 2030 and 70% from 2035. NORSUS (back then, Østfoldforskning) carried out the impact assessment together with Mepex in 2017, and has therefore contributed to the knowledge base to the design of the regulation

09.06.2022

Pieter Callewaert and Kari-Anne Lyng from NORSUS participates this week at the WasteLCA conference in Italy.

The conference is held for the third time and gathers experts from several countries working with LCA and waste resources.

Pieter gave a presentation with the title Analysing the environmental performance and improvement factors of plastic packaging recycling systems, while Kari-Anne has presented Collection system's impact on environmental performance of the waste management system.

Kari-Anne presented the environmental impact associated with various collection systems for food waste and plastic, which are results from the research projects Innovative Waste Logistics and DGRADE. The analysis will be able to provide useful input by introducing stricter sorting requirements for food waste from households.

Pieter and Kari-Anne agrees that this type of conferences is important for international networking and professional development.

“At this conference we meet researchers working with the exact same topics as we do, and we get valuable input to assessments that we are working with."

Pieter at WasteLCA conference in Italy
Pieter Callewaert and Kari-Anne Lyng  at WasteLCA conference in Italy
03.06.2022

Som ein del av SYLFEED-prosjektet, har NORSUS-forskerne Ingunn Saur Modahl og Andreas Brekke nettopp publisert ei studie på insektprotein. Artikkelen undersøker miljøbelastningane for seks verdikjeder, der protein frå mjølorm og svart soldatfluelarve er tenkt brukt til fiskefôr. Verdikjedene er ulike ved at insekta er avla i ulike land og har fått forskjellig mat. Studien kombinerer inventardata frå allerede publiserte studiar, og det er difor lagt vekt på å bruke konsekvente systemgrenser, metodevalg, bakgrunnsdata og indikatorar. Resultata viser at insektmaten er spesielt viktig for miljøbelastningane for insekt som lever på vekster som er dyrka spesielt for larvene, og som i utgangspunktet har ein høg økonomisk verdi. Protein frå insekt som blir mata med ‘grønnsaksavfall’ (noko som er mest vanleg), har ei klimabelastning som er lik eller mykje lågare enn dei mest vanlege plantebaserte ingrediensane i fiskefôr. Denne forskjellen i miljøbelastning for insektmaten kjem av økonomisk allokering av belastningar for landbruksprodukt. I volum kan insektprotein dekke 10 – 15 % av fôrproteinet som per i dag blir importert til EU. Studien viser også at miljøbelastninga for transport av insektprotein frå land som Nederland, Frankrike og Tyskland til Vestlandet berre vil utgjere ein liten del av den totale miljøbelastninga for proteinet. Les heile artikkelen here.

24.05.2022

For four years, Erik Svanes at NORSUS has been researching on the protein rich crops from peas, beans, and oilseeds. – We have found answers to many of the uncertainties regarding this subject, and the answers are positive, says Svanes.

It is well known that plant protein products in general have a lower environmental impact than products from animal protein such as meat, eggs, dairy products, and seafood. Nevertheless, NORSUS researcher Erik Svanes wanted a more detailed and thoroughly examination of the effect of increased plant protein production.

In the four-year project FoodProFuture, Svanes did research on the protein-rich crops peas, beans, and on the oil and protein rich plants rape and turnip rape (oilseeds). These crops are collectively known as High-Protein Plants (HPP). Svanes worked in collaboration with other research institutions and enterprises, and central questions in the research were: Which role can the HPP have in our food production system? How do natural conditions and the limited agricultural land in Norway affect production? What about consumer habits? And will a change in diet affect anything else than the climate?

The research work being divided into several disciplines, NORSUS was responsible for the sustainability part of the project.

– We aimed to determine how Norwegian grown plant protein affects the environment compared to the food we eat today. The protein in the current Norwegian diet comes mainly from meat, fish, eggs, wheat and dairy products and we were interested in analysing the environmental affect caused by this type of protein food. The same analysis was done on the HPP and products made from these crops developed in the project, explains Svanes.

Another important aspect of the project was to investigate how the processing affected the raw materials. Some of the plant food benefits can be lost if the raw materials are processed in an inefficient way.

Erteåker
A field of peas is a beautiful sight. Thanks to NORSUS research, we also know with certainty that growing peas and other high-protein plants (HPP) like beans and turnip rape will contribute to lower environmental impact than the average Norwegian food protein. PHOTO: Anne Marthe Lundby


Several positive results

According to the research results, food based on HPP grown in Norway gives 5-10 times lower environmental impact than the average Norwegian food protein. This applies not only to climate, but to all environmental categories. The HPP result in far lower emissions and far lower consumption of resources than most other protein food products in Norway.

– In addition, it provides several advantages in agriculture, such as larger crops and less plant disease pressure for the subsequent in the same area, Svanes points out.

Although Norway has a small area of arable land, the population is also low. This means that the amount of arable land per person is on par with the rest of Europe. The research results conclude that HPP can have a significant role in Norwegian food supply and meet 10-15 per cent of protein needs in the future. A transition to more plant protein will also have a beneficial effect on the populations health if it replaces for example meat. Other advantages will be greatly reduced environmental impact, reduced pressure on arable lands in Norway and other countries and make Norway more self-sufficient with food and animal feed.

The research also shows that eating habits, attitudes, and values are very different from person to person and that this has a great impact on their diet. As a result, the environmental impact of the food eaten is very different from person to person. Such knowledge can be used for targeted measures to get consumers to eat more plant-based diets.

– This allows us to help consumers follow the authorities' recommendations for a healthy diet and to eat more environmentally friendly, says Erik Svanes, researcher at NORSUS.


Facts

  • Research project FoodProFuture (Innovative and Sustainable Exploitation of Plant Proteins in Future Foods) took place in the period April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2021.
  • The project was supported through the BIONÆR program from Research Council of Norway. Total framework for the project was NOK 39 million, including support from the Norwegian Research Council and the companies' own efforts.
  • Nine national and five international research partners were responsible for the research: NORSUS, NMBU, NIBIO, NTNU, SIFO, NLR, AgriAnalyse, SP (Sweden), JTI (Sweden), LUKE (Finland), VTT (Finland), CSGA (Bulgaria) and SINTEF.
  • In addition, 14 corporation partners from the food industry joined the project: Orkla Foods, HOFF, Mills, Gartnerhallen, BAMA, AM Nutrition, Halogen, Hozokawa (Germany), Norsk Matraps SA, Borregaard, Skala AS.
  • The main objective of the project was to build a knowledge platform for the production and exploitation of Norwegian plant protein resources for healthy and tasty plant-based products with a high protein content
  • The project was divided into a number of disciplines. These dealt with agriculture, processing, health, quality, sustainability, and the consumer perspective, as well as communication.
  • NORSUS conducted the research in sustainability together with the Swedish research institute RISE and in collaboration with the industry and research partners.
  • The research at NORSUS was done by Erik Svanes, as part of his PhD. Svanes has written a report, four articles (two published) and several posts at scientific and other conferences.

Researcher and PhD at NORSUS, Erik Svanes has written a report, four articles (two published) and several posts at scientific and other conferences during the four years of research at FoodProFuture.

PHOTO: NORSUS

   

20.05.2022

Stine Mari Velsvik er forfatter av boka «Bobil. Opplevelser for livet», utgitt i mai 2022. Hun har intervjuet forskningsleder Andreas Brekke om et bobilprosjekt NORSUS gjennomførte for Norges Caravanbransjeforbund (NCB). NORSUS laget et klimaregnskap der bobilen ble sammenlignet med andre transport-, fritids- og ferieformer. Prosjektet var ledet av Brekke.

Download the publication here

I boka gjenforteller Velsvik en del av funnene fra studien når det gjelder hva som er positivt og mindre positivt med bobil i klima- og miljøsammenheng. Hun har også utvidet perspektivet til å se på hvordan bobilferier og bobilbruk generelt kan kreve en mer spartansk tilværelse med mindre bruk av ressurser.

More about the book

16.05.2022

At the Opening Ceremony of 32nd SETAC Europe Annual Meeting on the 15th of May, Anna Furberg, Senior Researcher at NORSUS, was acknowledged as the winner of the SETAC Europe Young Scientist LCA award in 2022. This award recognizes exceptional achievements by a young scientist in the field of LCA.

Annas fremragende forskning har bidratt til videreutvikling og anvendelse av LCA, for eksempel gjennom utvikling av et praktisk rammeverk for definisjon av funksjonell enhet ved sammenligning av materialer. Hun har også bidratt metodeutvikling for inkludering av helsepåvirkninger i sosial LCA ved bruk av konfliktmineraler. Sistnevnte metode ble brukt i en studie som vurderte hvorvidt bruk av piggdekk redder eller tar liv, vurdert i et bredere livssyklusperspektiv, en studie som fikk stor interesse fra media. Dette arbeidet medførte forøvrig stor presseinteresse der Anna viste at hun har svært gode egenskaper til formidling av forskningsresultater. Hun har også bidratt til nye LCA-studier av harde materialer ved tilgjengeliggjøring av manglende data.

Kunngjøringen av Anna Furberg som prisvinner, samt en kort oppsummering av hennes forskning, vil også bli presentert i International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment..

NORSUS gratulerer Anna med utmerkede prestasjoner og en velfortjent pris!

Les mer om prisen her: https://awards.setac.org/lca-ysa/

11.05.2022

On May 11th, 2022, Valentina Pauna successfully defended her PhD thesis “ADDRESSING NEW GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS: An interdisciplinary approach to assess the impacts of microplastics on marine ecosystems” at the Department of Science and Technology at the “Parthenope” University of Naples.

This thesis focused on developing a framework aimed at maximizing, combining, and innovating the strengths of existing environmental assessment methods. Given the current EU interest in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), Valentina’s work aimed to identify and fill critical knowledge and data gaps related to SDG 14: Life Below Water. In particular, she addressed data gaps that have caused uncertainty regarding the impacts of microplastic pollution on marine ecosystems. As a result, Valentina created a new methodology called Information Flow Analysis (IFA) which acts as a map for displaying the fields of study relevant for the characterization of microplastics in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). IFA also highlights which areas of study should receive more focus to move microplastics research in a direction such that LCA can be carried out. Valentina hopes that the IFA approach will be applied to other emerging, or misunderstood, global environmental problems. Her defence was online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Pier Paolo Franzese was Valentina’s main supervisor and her co-supervisor was Professor Giulio Giunta. Professor Monia Renzi and Dr. Elvira Buonocore were tutors for Valentina in her PhD in Italy and Dr. Cecilia Askham supervised Valentina’s remote period abroad at NORSUS.