Saturday, January 23, 2016

Food Waste Recovery Trends in 2016: Research, Innovation, Commercialization and Funding

                                                          Recovering Food Waste. Source: Wikimedia
Over the last years, the number of published studies dealing with the valorization of processing by-products has been rapidly increased. This is proved by the numerous special issues organized by important Journals, such as these organized by Food Research International: (i) Recovery and utilization of valuable compounds from food processing by-products and (ii) Byproducts from agri-food industry: new strategies for their revalorization.
Following information received by individual members of Food Waste Recovery Group (SIG5) of ISEKI Food Association, more studies dealing not only with the recovery of valuable compounds from food waste, but also with their application in particular food and other products will be published within 2016. Moreover, proof-of-concept projects (e.g. sustainable plant ingredients for healthier meat products) targeting to establish health benefits of relevant products have been funded and are expected to launch their first results soon.
Following EU’s and other countries’ growing interest and funding policy promoting bio-based products and industries, the biorefinery approach is placed in a central role, too. Taking into account the impressive interest of the food science community in the above subjects, it is rather clear that new, emerging and more subject-targeted reference tools are needed. SIG5 works to this direction and plans to launch new initiatives within 2016.
Innovation & Commercialization Efforts
During food waste recovery book editing, only 35 companies with related products were identified around the world. Many of them have not been fully commercialized yet or were in an early stage of development. These products include dietary fibers from vegetable waste, proteins from cheese whey, fish oil from fishery by-products, lycopene from tomato waste, proanthocyanidins and oil from grape seeds, polyphenols from pine bark, keratin from chicken feathers, sugar and flavonoids syrup from citrus peel, protein from meat processing by-products and fish skin, yeast extract and lactic acid from sugar beet pulp, albumin from soy protein isolate wastewater, chitosan from shrimp shells and others. After publishing the book, we find out that there are much more companies activated in the field. This gap was created not only by the lack of available information (due to companies’ secrecy policy), but also due to the fast growing applications in the field.
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