Brabant Startup Awards, PeelPioneers, Sytze van Stempvoort
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The scale-up PeelPioneers is opening a new factory that can process three times as much citrus peel a day. These peels are processed into, among other things, orange oil and animal feed.

PeelPioneers has also developed new products using peels in its own laboratory. For example, they make dietary fibers that are used in meat substitutes. These new products will also be made in the new factory. The new production facility will be realized thanks to a €10 million investment of a consortium, consisting of Rabobank, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (Top Sector Energy), National Green Fund, Brabant Development Fund BOM, European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, and investor DOEN Participaties.

The circular solution offered by the company is aimed at various supermarkets and hospitality businesses. “With the growing demand for freshly squeezed juice, the amount of peel is also growing exponentially. We make food from food,” says Sytze van Stempvoort, co-founder of PeelPioneers. Innovation Origins already wrote an article about the company back in 2017.

“This processing preserves the entire incoming flow in the food chain. With our 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 entire Olympic swimming pool.”

The company opened a factory for citrus peels in Son (the Netherlands) in 2018. Now, the company needs more capacity owing to the rapidly rising demand. The new factory in Den Bosch is to open its doors in 2021.

PeelPioneers already makes orange oil and raw material for candied orange peel. These can be found in foodstuffs such as lemonade, chocolates and citrus muffins.

“At the company’s lab research is being carried out into where else the peels can be processed. This is how the dietary fibers originated. The fibers provide structure for meat substitutes, baked goods and sauces.