The Industrialization of Animal Raw Materials research group (IPOA) at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH) is comprised of 6 PhD's (2 in veterinary medicine, 2 in food science and technology, and 2 in agricultural engineering), and it has four researchers in training. Professionally, two of its members are full professors, three are associate professors, and one is an assistant professor. Being multidisciplinary allows approaching any proposed investigation from different points of view, thus enriching its development and expanding the field of discussion and possible applications.
Its members have extensive experience in the meat, dairy, confectionary & pastry, fish derivative, egg product, and honey derivative sectors, as well as in increasing the shelf life of foods, their determination, and the application of bioactive compounds, antioxidants, and natural antimicrobials.
Since 2000, this group has fundamentally been working on the issue of valorization of co-products from agro-food industries in order to obtain bioactive compounds, basically dietary fiber, and their application in different food matrices. Since that time, our experience in this area has shown that agro-food industry co-products are an important source of products with significant technological, nutritional, and even healthy properties. These co-products, when subjected to the appropriate processes, could be reincorporated into the food chain, with their consequent valorization and less agroindustrial waste, contributing to reduce the environmental impact from these types of industries. Accomplishing this requires vast knowledge on the properties of the co-products in question, the eco-efficient processes to apply to acquire and transform them into intermediate food products, the creation of quality standards and their control, researching the ideal conditions and dosage for incorporation into different food systems, and detailed study of their stability (shelf life) and functionality. The IPOA does all this thanks to its extensive knowledge on citrus, pomegranate, date, tiger nut, and other Mediterranean crop co-products. This knowledge is backed by more than 100 publications in international journals contained in Journal Citation Reports (JCR), book chapters on the applications of co-products of various foods in prestigious international publishers, referred to as valorization and applications of agro-food co-products.