Every product season, 27.OOO kg of chicory is produced. 30% of this production is unfortunately considered waste. The consumer is always in the habit of throwing away the outer leaves of the chicory which results in a considerable amount of waste. Together with Gastronello (Traicar bvba), the Cools family and want to show that over 80% of this total waste stream is actually edible and delicious!
That is why Cools and Gastronello came up with a recipe to upgrade this waste stream to a marketable product. After optimizing the juice and press cake production process, the partners succeeded in producing ingredients for the croquettes with a shelf life of up to 3 months. By processing most of this waste into chicory croquettes, the waste is reduced to only 5%. This means that for this company, the total amount of waste is reduced from 8 100 kg to 1 350 kg each production season, a significant improvement.
This recipe can easily be implemented in the artisanal production of Brussels chicory. Knowing that an average of 4 000 tonnes of chicory is produced in the Brussels area, valorisation as in this project could have a significant impact on waste management in the production cycle of this crop. Considering also that this method of valorisation has some potential for other vegetables, the impact could be even greater.