About this Research Topic
According to the report on the World State of Food and Agriculture 2019, progress in the fight against food loss and waste, and the reduction of food loss, help improve the sustainability of the environment, while the reduction of waste benefits food security. According to the FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, global food waste represents a third of total food produced for consumption, approximately 1.6 billion tons per year, which represents a cost of € 730 million/year. The food groups that stand out for their highest percentages of losses are fruits and vegetables, and roots and tubers, both with a 45% loss. It is followed by fish and marine products with 35%, and cereals with 30%. Both food losses and its co-products are very rich sources of nutrients and other bioactive substances that, once extracted, represent very valuable ingredients for the elaboration of functional and nutraceutical foods (among other products). The extraction and isolation of these compounds allow for their use in other sectors (yogurts and dairy products, juices and beverages, energy bars, etc.), as ingredients that favor certain functions when ingesting them.
The European Parliament's Waste Framework Directive applies a standard prioritization scheme for the recovery of food by-products. In it, the first option is the prevention and reduction of the generation of by-products, and the second is human consumption. Finally, there is the shipment of the by-products to landfill, a solution that cannot be considered as recovery. The continuous development of re-valorization solutions will accelerate the sustainability of the food production and consumption system.
This Research Topic will highlight the role of integrated teams of research scientists for this purpose. Following the US-EPA food recovery hierarchy, we invite manuscripts that focus on solutions for re-valorization of food losses and food coproducts, including but not limited to:
- Prevention and reduction;
- Human consumption;
- Animal feeds;
- Industrial uses;
- Energy production;
- Agronomic uses;
- Other ways of disposal.
Keywords: Re-valorization of Food Loss, Food Losses, Food Co-products, Re-valorization, food waste, European Parliament Waste Framework Directive, food production
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