About this Research Topic
A huge amount of food by-products and residues are generated worldwide from different food industries, which are generally discarded, burned or reused for the production of fuels or animal feed, but still show a low economic value. In many cases they must be properly dealt with as their disposal can cause serious environmental problems, but also the loss of raw material and energy, and the significant investment for pollution control should be considered. This fact coupled with concerns regarding fossil resources limitation, sustainability and environmental problems has motivated significant research in the valorization of this raw material for the production of valuable compounds. The use of alternative and low-cost substrates for microbial bioproduction of a wide variety of high-added value products leads to a circular economy in which both industry and society benefit. Foods by-products and residues are abundant, natural and renewable resources and they represent an important source of carbon, nitrogen and minerals. Thus, the use of these raw materials for the production of valuable chemicals for the food, chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries is promising. Algae biomass is also an attractive feedstock for added-value molecules production like hydrocolloids, biofuels, organic acids, etc, given that they do not compete with land use and water consumption needed for food crops production.
Food by-products and residues are classified as lignocellulosic biomass, mainly composed of cellulose organized in crystalline microfibrils protected by an amorphous region of hemicellulose and lignin, which make the structure more recalcitrant and less accessible for bioproduction. For this reason, despite the potential of this raw material, their complex composition may hinder microbial growth and sometimes some previous steps are required like pretreatment and/or hydrolysis. On the other hand, seaweed's composition includes glucose polysaccharides but they have almost no lignin simplifying the process.
The present Research Topic is focused on the bioproduction of high-added-value products from sugars and other components of food by-products and waste, and algae biomass such as proteins as potential growth substrates.
Bioproduction represents a key technology for the valorization of these raw materials. Therefore, by selecting the right microorganism, different compounds with a useful application, such as organic acids, biopolymers, enzymes, oligosaccharides, biofuels or triacylglycerol, among others, can be obtained through bioproduction of these potential growth substrates. However, many challenges still have to be faced to improve the competitiveness of the production of these valuable compounds from food by-products and residues and algae biomass to replace fossil resources.
Keywords: bioproduction, food by-products, valuable compounds, food residues, sugars, proteins, algae biomass
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.