Green & Growthin its purpose of achieving more sustainable solutions and improvements, has different research projects underway directed from its scientific subsidiary Green Bionomics or from its Scientific Department.

In order to do so, Green & Growth and Green Bionomics rely on the establishment of synergies and collaboration agreements with public and private entities worldwide, in order to create new products, to optimize existing ones and to explore new and better ways of applying them both in the same or in different areas.

Fundamental for obtaining industrial hemp cultivars adapted to the agroclimatic regions where we work or adapted to the agroclimatic zones where the industries which we work with are located, as well as obtaining cultivars that combine all the molecular composition and arrangement characteristics necessary to guarantee the quality of our products.

The great challenge of this century lies in finding solutions to feed a growing population, and, at the same time, to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment.

Entomophagy has recently gained a lot of attention as a possible contributor to the future of a sustainable food system. Around 1,500 species of edible insects have been identified around the world. On a global scale, the most frequently consumed insects are: beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, cicadas, leafhoppers, grasshoppers, mealybugs, bed-bugs, termites, dragonflies, and flies.

Edible insects are mostly eaten whole, processed into a pellet or paste form for other preparations, extracted from insect proteins, or used in animal feeding.

The main benefits of insects are related to the fact that they are a highly nutritious and healthy food source, high in fat, protein, vitamins, fiber, minerals and a sustainable source of animal protein..

As an animal protein source, they do not have the same lack of certain essential amino acids that vegetable protein sources suffer from, so they can be the ideal additive to complete the amino acid profile of these rich vegetable protein sources, being able, together, to generate a very complete and sustainable food.

As a matter of fact, compared to other animal protein sources, insects require less water and space to grow and emit fewer greenhouse gases.

In addition, insects show a much more efficient feed conversion ratio than traditional farm animals. For example, crickets are twice as efficient as chicken at turning feed into meat, at least four times more efficient than pigs, and, twelve times more efficient than cattle..

Insect farming could contribute to addressing the challenge of food waste. Some insects can convert low-value products with a low ecological footprint (such as organic waste from agri-food industries) into products with a high protein content. Insect farming has the potential to reuse at least a third of the food waste generated in the food chain today.

During their breeding and processing they do not require the use of as many antibiotics or additives as traditional livestock. This drastically minimizes the problem of antibiotic resistance. In addition, due to their phylogenetic remoteness, they pose a lower risk of transmission of zoonotic diseases..

Finally, insect excrement,a by-product obtained from insect cultivation, can be used as a fertilizer, just like earthworm humus, for example, and which in fact, has recently been authorized by the European Commission.

Insect farming has a limited impact on natural resources and could be an efficient and circular animal protein production system.

Through the analysis of some polymorphic regions (with a lot of variability between individuals of the same species) from the DNA known as STRs (Short Tandem Repeats), it is possible to differentiate some hemp individuals from others, as well as to establish close kinship relationships among them.

This genetic identification method, which allows differentiate among individuals, gives us the opportunity to have an infallible traceability method, since all the plants in a field from known parental daughter seeds can be identified at any time in their cycle by using this method.

Knowing the parents’ STRs profile, it is feasible to analyze a mixture of LCMF fibers, for example, to certify that they come entirely from the hemp plant, and that, in addition, they are daughters of known parents. In this way, illegal deforestation can be combated and the homogeneity of materials can be confirmed, which is critical for the quality reproducibility of final products.


Biocomposites, cement, asphalt, paper, cardboard…

The molecular composition, as well as the arrangement of these molecules within the product, directly influence the way of production and the final mechanical properties which each product will show.

That is why Green & Growth maintains a continuous plant genetic improvement program, as well as a continuous post-harvest processing adaptation program in order to integrate our products in different industries, based on their needs and in direct collaboration with their R&D departments.

Thanks to the ultrastructural arrangement of hemp cellulose microfibrils and the improvement of pyrolysis and post-treatment conditions, it is possible to obtain biochars with improved structure, porosity, mechanical, physical, chemical and even electrical properties which offer new opportunities for industry.

For this reason, we continue working to obtain increasingly technical biochars, with specific properties for each industrial sector together with quality seals such as the European Biochar Certificate (EBC).


The use of the resulting by-products during the Green & Growth Biochar production 

Green & Growth investigates the possibility of purifying the by-products resulting from the production of biochar, such as wood vinegar and wood tar, for a better use.

Wood vinegar has an insect repellent value in agriculture. Wood tar indeed has a therapeutic value, being included in numerous ointments, it also has an industrial value for its adhesive, sealing or waterproofing properties such as in varnishing, flooring, waterproofing products and so forth. Gases such as hydrogen and methane can be stored for different uses.

Excluding poles and deserts, , there are 8,000 million habitable hectares in the world; almost 50% of them is agricultural land, of which 33% is degraded,according to the 2016 FAO report. 

Among the main causes of land degradation are the incorrect management of crops, both intensive and extensive, such as excessive tillage and the use of herbicides, or the application of pesticides, which result in the destructuring of the soil, the loss of its organic matter, compaction, death of the biota, loss of its natural fertility, uncontrolled erosion, poor drainage, loss of resistance to drought or other inclement weather conditions.

On the other hand, there is great concern about the state of soil contamination, being among the main causes of contamination, the excessive use of agrochemical products in crops and chemical waste in industrial soils. 

For this reason, Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) are contaminants whose severe toxicity to humans (endocrine disruption, immunotoxicity effects, genotoxicity, and carcinogenicity) are being demonstrated from nmol to μmol. But their concentrations in soils reach hundred to thousand levels of μg per kg of soil in many locations.

In a world scenario, like the one we are facing, Green & Growthby making use of the remedial capacity of hemp, , is committed to remediating agricultural soils where hemp is grown to obtain lignocellulosic fibers,during a period of years sufficient to eliminate all contaminant substances and to opt for organic farming stamps.

For this reason, Green & Growth plan is to start a dual crop for the use of both fiber and hemp grain.

The hemp grain or seed has a high amount of protein and a high nutritional value oil;in this way, it is considered one of the new sources of plant-based protein which contains the 9 essential amino acids,it is a new source of unsaturated fatty acids (more than 90%) and a new source of essential fatty acids, with one of the Nature's Best Omega-6:Omega-3 (3:1) Essential Fatty Acid Ratios.

The scientific community considers hemp grain a functional food, that is to say, in addition to its high nutritional value, it has biologically active molecules that add beneficial effects for health and reduce the risk of certain diseases.