Tag Archives: Waste

Reusing and Recycling Potatoe Waste

The recovery of food from Food Industry waste will become more and more attractive as food prices increase and per capita availability decreases.

In general technology is already available to recover value but the viability limits what is done. This is an interesting approach to improve viability by addressing the logistics of handling waste.

click image to visit the site

Projects like these improve the sustainability of the Food Industry.

THINK-EAT-SAVE Food Waste Enjoying Growing Attention

I have written on Food Waste now and then as it's clearly a part of the food supply system where the world can grow food availability using existing technology.

Now a UNEP/FAO lead campaign, supported by initiatives such as WRAP, has been launched.

click image to visit the site

Think-Eat-Save and the slogan “Reduce Your Foodprint” seem to indicate that it is focussed on the consumer, but the information on the site is not limited to the household. The initiative seems to be focussing on the complete food chain.

There is already a wealth of information here, presented in a very readable way, and there are indications of actions to promote awareness and action.

Think-Eat-Save rests on four pillars

Awareness raising on the impact of, and solutions for food loss and waste.

Collaboration and coordination of world-wide initiatives on food loss and waste reduction.

Policy, strategy and programme development for food loss and waste reduction.

Support to investment programmes and projects..


The Food Waste Opportunity

When the Institute of Mechanical Engineers publishes a report on solving the expected world food shortage by reducing loss, you begin to realise this is a very widely recognized problem or opportunity. I already published a paper on this titled Waste in the food value chain: Issues and opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa in 2011, which also highlighted the wasted inputs required to produce the wasted food.
Institute of Mechanical Engineers publishes a Report on Food Waste

from: IMECHE
(click image for full report online)

Most of the solutions are not to do with mechanization, automation or new devices. Cereals lost to poor storage in the third world environment need better management of existing systems and simple waterproofed structures. Losses in the first world retail system are more strongly linked to the need to change consumer behaviour, diet, obesity, visual standards, kitchen control, expiry dates etc than to research new technologies.

The report has some interesting data that bears repeating

  • Half the food that is grown in the world is lost and not eaten
  • 3 calories of energy are required to produce 1 calorie of food energy in the form of cereals
  • 30 calories of energy are required to produce 1 calorie of food energy in the form of bee
  • 50% of the energy input to wheat is required for fertilizer and pesticides
  • 70% of water use is by agriculture
  • Some thoughts after reading this: the food we do eat uses twice as much inputs than it would seem, the waste is mainly not on the field where it would could at least compost and fertilize but is increasingly in urban areas where it unnecessarily loads the waste disposal system.



    The article by N Ackom and K Tano-Debrah in the latest edition of AJFAND Online presents a well explained and investigated process to produce a pineapple fibre for use in food formulations. The study at University of Ghana, Lagon was practical and produced fibre products that were used to produce muffins and biscuits which were acceptable to consumers. The corresponding author can be contacted at newusie@yahoo.co.uk.

    click the image to visit the website

    This process addresses the fourth level in the EPAs Food Recovery Heirachy, ie develop an industrial use for the waste food. The EPAs Food Recovery Heirachy puts feeding animals as third after reduce loss and feed people, the first 2.

    Solving Factory Waste Through Extraction of Valuable Chemicals

    At first sight it seems like a good idea to add value to waste strems in the food processing industry.

    click the image to visit the website

    However, as the project leader says this is not rocket science. The composition of waste streams is generally well known and the technology to extract valuable components already established.It's naive to think companies are paying to dispose of waste streams that contain valuable chemicals which they could be easily extracting and selling.

    Many waste streams are actually sold for other purposes such as animal feed and compost while many are already the source of high value chemicals such as essential oils and nutritional supplements. Waste streams have also been used for centuries to produce alternate energy.

    Manufacturing companies focus strongly on waste and are just as capable of investigating such opportunities as are researchers.The issue is the financial viability of any particular process and the potential to set up all the players in the supply chain to ensure its sustainable operation.

    EU Food Waste Briefing

    The ACP-EU has recently held on of its rural development briefing on Food Waste.

    click the image to visit the website

    Around one third of all food is wasted which is already frightening enough but with the new concern on climate change it becomes even worse. The food wasted produces emissions in production and disposal for food which is just not used.

    This document presents links to a number of resources which allow the reader to understand the principles but through references to dig deeper into the issues.

    Waste & Over Eating vs Need & Malnutrition

    The work in the United Kindom on waste in the food system has lead to an intriguing, data rich report which is available on the WRAP website.


    bb10fddbb310ebaa21fa47f9fa5068b0.pdf (page 1 of 86).jpg

    from: WRAP
    (click image for full story online)


    Taking the information of how much food is wasted from this report, with the post on excessively nutritious foods and Michele Obama’s work with the the food industry to reduce the energy content in the food they sell together surely indicates a process that should start to redistribute calories.

    Maybe some more about this in future posts.


    Improving Profitability By Using Byproducts & Waste

    We often focus on reducing ingredient costs and increasing efficiency but sometimes miss other opportunities to reduce cost and increase income. The stories linked below give some examples of the kind of thoughts we should be having.

    Basically they focus on utilising by products and waste – the point just needs to be made that these should only get focus once they have been minimised through process optimisation and management.

    Scientists Investigate Valuable Byproducts From Waste

    Cranberry waste may lead to alternative ingredients.jpg

    (click the image to open website)

    SA Miller Reduce Effluent Discharges While Generating Heating Gas

    SAB Miller Uses Brewery Waste from Alrode Brewery in South Africa to Reduce Carbon Footprint _ EcoLocalizer.jpg

    (click the image to open website)

    Lindt Chocolate Sell Cocoa Husks to Power Station Allowing Then to Process Whole Beans

    Cocoa power project gets green light-1.jpg

    (click the image to open website)

    Pectin From Banana Waste


    Following on the previous entry that identified the valuable compounds normally left in juice wastes, this article on Food Navigator.com reports on work done by researchers from Cameroon and Belgium.

    While citrus is probably the most used source of pectin, this research indicates the potential of tailoring pectin properties through control of the extraction process.

    The authors contend that

    “Developing countries such as Cameroon import several tons of pectin each year, although there is a vast resource of agricultural products and agro wastes which can be used to produce pectin. In this country, 600,000 metric tons of banana were produced in 2004 with 40 per cent of the total weight of the fruit being wastes which can be used to extract pectin,”

    I, however, can not see this type of process making a significant difference in the medium term, because of the shear size of the “resource”. Therefore, maybe some other thoughts next time.