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Vortex Fights Food Waste in Italy

Throwing away food causes a loss of over 22.8 billion euros. Vortex, a company that gives a second life to agri-food waste, is among the winners of the SAES startup acceleration program. Within RedZone, Vortex will have the possibility of introducing an extract (an active ingredient) coming from the ennoblement of waste from the agri-food industry into capsules made with biological materials.




Every Italian wastes 146 kilos of food in a year for an economic value corresponding to €385. Overall, between domestic and industrial waste, 8.65 million tons of food end up wasted per year for an economic value of €22.8 billion. So how can we combat waste in agri-food production? Giving us an answer is Vortex, the startup which, born with the dream of making cosmetics accessible to everyone in a natural, sustainable and circular way, gives a second life to the by-products of the agri-food chain.

The Turin startup is among the winners of the first call RedZone, a technological development program for startups operating in the field of materials science. The heart of its offer are the Open Labs, laboratory and industrial spaces made available by SAES, an Italian company with 80 years of history in advanced materials behind it, where startups can develop, characterize and scale innovative solutions with the support of technicians and company researchers.

If you want to find what is Vortex’s development plan and RedZone’s future projects and to read the most important business news of the day, download for free our companion app Born2Invest. 

Vortex ennobles and innovates agri-food by-products

The brand was created in 2020 from the idea of ​​the two founders Lorenzo Picco and Simone Piccolo of wanting to build a business model inspired by the pillars of environmental, economic and social sustainability. The disposal of agri-food by-products today represents an important cost for companies. Vortex aims to find innovative solutions for agri-food by-products, both from an environmental and economic point of view, by ennobling them (upcycling) for the food, nutraceutical and petfood sectors. 

“Vortex has demonstrated the potential of its technology through the valorisation of the industrial by-product of the apple cultivar (and not only) by creating firstly an ingredient and secondly a cosmetic brand validated on the market with the name NASTE Beauty” – explained Andrea Cadelli, Ventures RedZone Manager.

The development plan in collaboration with RedZone

“For Vortex, RedZone represents a unique opportunity. It is a program that gives us the opportunity to interact with technicians of the highest level and to access cutting-edge machinery and instrumentation, enabling extremely high-intensity value generation. From this collaboration we expect to be able to launch a competitive project on the market, which will open up new scalability opportunities” stated Lorenzo Picco, CTO of Vortex. 

Within RedZone, Vortex will have the possibility of introducing an extract (an active ingredient) coming from the ennoblement of waste from the agri-food industry into capsules made with biological materials, with the aim of creating an effective anti-acne product, sustainable and totally organic.

“The objective of the project is both to create a market MVP from a distribution point of view – he continues – (a finished product) but also to evaluate the application of the same technology in the B2B market.”

New call for startups

Red Zone will open a new call for startups in the first part of 2024, aiming for projects that are highly synergistic with the skills and vision of SAES: “The objective always remains to generate value from the interaction between the agility and dedication of startups towards your project with the technological expertise and industrial capabilities of SAES” – explained Cadelli. 


(Featured image by TheDigitalArtist via Pixabay)

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First published in StartupItalia, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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J. Frank Sigerson is a business and financial journalist primarily covering crypto, cannabis, crowdfunding, technology, and marketing. He also writes about the movers and shakers in the stock market, especially in biotech, healthcare, mining, and blockchain. In the past, he has shared his thoughts on IT and design, social media, pop culture, food and wine, TV, film, and music. His works have been published in,, Seeking Alpha, Mogul, Small Cap Network, CNN,, among others.