The Institute of Food Research (IFR) is a key partner in a new European Union (EU)-funded multinational research project that will aim to reduce food waste by 30% in the next ten years.
Resource Efficient Food and Drink for the Entire Supply Chain (Refresh) is an EU Horizon 2020 project which will run until 2019, involving partners across the EU, as well as in China.
Prof Keith Waldron, director of the IFR Biorefinery Centre, will be leading work aimed at identifying key waste streams across the continent, and finding ways of adding value to them by turning them into other products. The work will evaluate technological feasibility, economic viability, legislative compliance and environmental sustainability through four European pilot countries as well as in China.
Paul Finglas, head of the Food Databanks National Capability, will additionally develop a pan-European database to evaluate the composition of food waste components for nutrients, bioactives, allergens, enzymes and microbiological safety, in collaboration with IFR’s Prof József Baranyi.
The work also involves innovative approaches to getting value from food waste by deriving fuels and chemicals from putrescible food waste, producing new fibre-rich food ingredients from food processing co-products, and creating new animal feed products, the IFR said in a statement.
Prof Waldron commented: “With 100m tonnes of food waste each year, it’s imperative that we take an EU-wide, comprehensive approach to reducing avoidable waste, and finding better uses for what can’t be avoided.”
“One of the key societal challenges in Horizon 2020 is sustainable food consumption with reduced waste, which this new project addresses,” Finglas added.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019