UK-China Agritech Challenge – CITRUSAFE

Representative image of scanning electron microscope of the segment membrane from mandarin (Citrus reticulate). Photo credit: Dr Jin Chu, University of Leeds

The project addresses China’s development priorities to eliminate waste and improve food safety.

It leverages complementary Chinese and UK research and industrial expertise to valorise waste from large scale (>10 million tons of waste) Chinese mandarin canning manufacturing for food safety applications.

It focuses on improving extraction efficiencies and solubility of the compounds to ensure compatibility with foods and packaging matrices.

The exploitable project outputs will be well defined biomaterials with downstream processing applications in two manufacturing sectors: food additives and food packaging.

Food and packaging prototypes will be developed and selected according to optimal antimicrobial and antioxidant properties against key spoilage pathogens in high risk foods (e.g. meat and fish products) and consumer acceptability.

This project will utilise China’s sustainable materials, as well as provide commercial opportunities to Chinese and UK industries with benefits to the environment and the safety of consumers.


Impacts will include:

  • Food safety
  • Environmental benefits
  • Improved regulation
  • Economic benefits for the UK
  • Economic benefits for China
  • Dietary health of the Chinese population
  • Social benefits

Find out more about this project – UK-China Agritech Challenge – CITRUSAFE.

Project details

  • Principal Investigator: Professor Caroline Orfila, University of Leeds
  • External Principal Investigator: Professor Chen and Professor Ye, College of Food Bioprocessing, Zhejiang University, China
  • Funded value: £422,328
  • Funded period: February 2019 – January 2021
  • Funder: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)