Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Sustainable ingredients emerging from food waste

Sustainability and technological advances are leading to novel ingredients to emerge from food waste. As will be shown at the upcoming Sustainable Foods Summits, these novel ingredients are finding new applications in foods, nutraceuticals and personal care products.

According to the FAO (United Nations), about a third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted in the supply chain. With food companies and retailers under pressure to become more efficient and reduce losses, many are re-directing food waste from landfill. A transition is occurring whereby waste previously going to low-end applications (such as animal feed and biogas) is making its way into new ingredients.

Novel ingredients are being created for food waste as new technologies improve extraction and processing methods. For instance, the Swiss company FoodSolutionsTeam is sing green chemistry to extract active materials from food side streams. Made from carrot pulp, its KaroPRO ingredient has water binding applications in processed foods. The company has similar food ingredients made from organic linseed, peas and rice. Phytonext is another company using new extraction techniques to produce ingredients from citrus peel and tomatoes waste.

The EU is also funding research to create new ingredients from food waste. The BIORICE project involves extracting starch from rice waste to make ingredients for functional foods, nutraceuticals and cosmetics. Another project, APROPOS, involves tacking proteins from salmon and rapeseed waste for cosmetic applications. Such ingredients have already made headway in natural personal care products.

With the global population project to reach 9 billion by 2050 and agricultural land becoming increasingly scare, more investment is expected in creating new ingredients from food waste. A recurring theme in the Sustainable Foods Summit and Sustainable Cosmetics Summit is ‘closing loops’ whereby waste materials find a new life in fresh applications. Organisations like TerraCycle have been successful in closing the packaging loop for consumer products; it remains to be seen how soon food waste from food streams will find better lives.

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