DRIP gathers Danish strongholds in a focused partnership with four work packages.
SAFETY – WP1
We will document that food safety and food quality will not be compromised when applying the developed solutions. Danish and international regulation and legislation may contain barriers to improved water efficiency and water reuse in the food industry. Work package 1 (WP1) documents where and how water can be reused in the food industry, hereby creating future foundation for development of national guidelines for reuse of water.
WP1 – Risk Prevention and Regulatory Issues
A major challenge for reuse of water in the food industry is to document that it can take place without compromising the safety or quality of food. The overall objectives of this work package 1 (WP1) are to assess the risks involved in reusing water and develop plans and methods for the management of these risks using the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) approach to satisfy regulatory requirements, which are also being mapped within this work package.
In line with the first HACCP principle (hazard identification) WP1 will support technology projects (WP3 Project Execution) by conducting risk assessments of the related food safety aspects. A holistic evaluation of the health hazards or spoilage potential associated with the use of the treated water is a pre-requisite for reusing water in the production, incl. water for cleaning purposes, and needed in the formulation of best practises and lighthouse projects of new innovative approaches to reuse water. Treatment efficiency will be assessed according to process water type, treatment method(s), relevant hazards or spoiling agents, and final use.
Documentation of the performance of the water treatment methods (potential critical control points) and thereby the management of (physical, chemical and biological) hazards and microbial stability challenges during water treatment and storage is paramount to ensure final product quality and safety. Ideally, high-frequency monitoring methods to monitor the post treatment quality of the water will be developed and/or adapted. This also includes water quality parameters, which indicate the potential for microbial growth during storage, affecting the stability of the water. The ambition is to substitute infrequent lab site analyses with on-site quality assurance, enabling rapid and safe “go/no go” decisions to set critical limits that reliably indicate the process is operating as intended. Where possible, this will be achieved by development and implementation of on-line sensors and by spectroscopy and multivariate analysis. The generated information and documentation will be used to generate generic HACCP plans in close collaboration with end users and technology providers.
To map opportunities, challenges and approaches for managing food safety in water reuse scenarios, the regulatory framework in Denmark, EU and selected 3rd countries will be elucidated. Work in WP1 will also identify non-regulatory issues that are experienced by the industry as possible constraints for industrial reuse of water. The experience from this work will be used to promote the development of EU guides on reuse of water.
Work in WP1 will support the development of national guides for the reuse of water. The national guides will be assessed by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DFVA), integrated in the official control and thereby alter previous administrative practice of individual exemptions thus serving to facilitate and increase the reuse of water in the food industry.
INDUSTRY ANALYSIS – WP2
Supporting commercialization and transfer of the developed technology and solutions within a sector and from one sector to other sectors.
WP2 – Industry Analysis
In this work package the following activities will be undertaken:
- For each participating end-user, a pre-assessment of existing water, energy and resource flows within the production facilities will be carried out identifying possibilities for water use minimisation
- A methodology for a quick water efficiency assessment will be developed and applied at appr. 25 different processing facilities outside and/or inside the partnership with focus on identification of gaps and implementation of solutions towards best practice of water efficiency. Monitoring of water and energy savings for selected solutions will provide data to document and strengthen the relevant business cases.
- Best practice solutions applied by only the “best in class” will be identified and documented as business cases and subsequently be promoted and implemented widely in the individual food sectors
- A series of workshops with the aim of exploring possibilities for transfer of new technology solutions developed in one sector to other sectors.
- Development of business model scenarios to stimulate and back future investments in new water efficient industrial production.
- Support commercialisation of the business models nationally and internationally via the VAR/OEM partners and through targeted dissemination of technology and tools to other water consuming industries
TECHNOLOGIES – WP3
In work package 3 water-saving technologies and concepts are developed, tested, documented and evaluated.
WP3 – Project Execution
In this work package, promising scenarios for water savings and reuse in the food industry will be developed, tested, documented and demonstrated through the following core activities:
- New production equipment, closed loops and reuse of reclaimed process water: New improved production equipment or innovations to conventional production lines through improved water efficiency measures and new closed water loops will be developed and tested. A wide spectrum of technology or technology concepts for reclamation of process water streams for subsequent reuse in the production processes or utility applications will be tested under realistic operational conditions at end-user partners’ premises. With a view to strengthening a later commercialization of attractive solutions there will be a strong focus on solid documentation of technology performance and preparation of well-defined business cases. Further, sustainability assessments and eco-efficiency considerations for attractive technology solutions will be undertaken and eco-efficiency will be compared to benchmark production schemes – input through WP4.
- Cleaning technology and concepts – including CIP: Investigation of opportunities for reducing water usage during cleaning in a hygienic safe manner. Different scenarios will be investigated for the different food sectors in close collaboration between technology providers, end-users and research partners. Cleaning processes in closed as well as open manufacturing lines and facilities will be included. For each new solution, a comparison will be made with existing technology and solutions as benchmark. The potential to apply process control and sensor technology to exploit actively on-line data on flow and process water quality will be evaluated with the aim of shortening and optimising cleaning procedures with respect to savings in water and energy and recovery of resources during cleaning operation. The investigations will be supplemented with economic analysis and assessment of hygiene and food safety – input through WP1. Detailed documentation of all tests including microbiological and chemical parameters will create the data required for the preparation of solid business cases for the most promising technological solutions.
- Wastewater treatment and reuse and industrial symbiosis: Treatment of effluent wastewater to achieve the quality needed for a specific reuse purpose such as: cooling water, boiler feed water, floor cleaning, etc. will often be an attractive option since such reuse schemes are not subject to food safety regulations. Also, reclamation of treated wastewater for subsequent use in the production will expectedly be part of the partnership activities. Based on the water-fit-for-purpose concept a train of water treatment technologies will often be needed in each case to achieve the desired water quality. Considering the diversity of the process water streams in the involved food sectors these treatment solutions will often be custom-made for the specific production process and the new technology concepts will be applied to achieve financially attractive and eco-efficient solutions. The new concepts will often be attractive for industrial water symbiosis where water is exported to a nearby industrial facility. Thus, this issue will be part of the partnership activities as well.
PROJECT FOUNDATIONS – WP4
WP4 fills in the gaps between current knowledge/available best practices and needs identified from the projects and partners through longer forward-looking activities.
WP4 – Project Foundations
This work package comprises a range of thematic university driven research projects which are characterized by a relevance across projects and subsequently by generic approaches. The projects are based on demands from at least one end-user and/or one technology provider and this connection is linking the research activities with the technology development and demonstration in the specific project.
The work package is motivated by a wish to strengthen the university contributions and to address fundamental challenges for the benefit of the partnership.