It will provide a solution to the biggest environmental challenge facing Europe’s food industry: excessive water use

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The goal of the LIFE MCUBO project is to reduce the environmental impact of inefficient water management in the three areas of the food industry that consume the most water: the meat, canned vegetable and juice subsectors. In addition to reducing water use, the project aims to lower the amount of electricity and thermal energy used by companies in these three subsectors.

Excessive and inefficient water use is considered to be the main environmental challenge to the European food industry, which is one of the biggest consumers of this resource. The LIFE MCUBO project hopes to tackle this situation head on through the development of an integrated management system that includes wireless monitoring, detailed modeling of the system’s processes, and incorporating the detailed models into companies’ continuous improvement processes.

Water scarcity is a growing phenomenon that is predicted to affect 17% of Europe’s population by 2030. The food industry uses 1.8% of all water consumed in the EU. At a national level, this sector accounts for 11% of all industrial water consumption in Spain, according to data from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

LIFE MCUBO aims to involve the food sector in the efficient management of resources through a bundle of methods, models and wireless technology that will simultaneously measure the operating and environmental efficiency of production processes. The system will be demonstrated in selected companies over the next two years.

The project is being carried out under the auspices of the Environment and Climate Action sub-program of the European Commission’s LIFE program. Project participants are the Agrifood Business Technology Center (CTIC-CITA), the University of Navarra’s School of Engineering (Tecnun)—which is also coordinating LIFE MCUBO—the Ceit-IK4 Technology Center, and the Industrial Association of Navarra (AIN).

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