Adding value in resource effective food systems

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Introduction / Background

The major losses of resources in the food value chain occur at the consumer stage, in households as well as the hospitality sector. In the hospitality sector relative food losses are the highest. For instance, in Finland food losses in the hospitality sector contribute to 20% of the food sold, whereas, in other sectors the relative amounts vary from 2 to 6%. Although numerous studies have investigated how to prevent food waste, food waste reduction and re-utilization of organic materials as a resource is still lacking impetus in many sectors and countries.

This project will concentrate on identifying and evaluating of barriers, opportunities and solutions, how to prevent and reduce food waste, improve optimal use of organic waste resources to redesign the food chain and to ensure to meet consumer needs and acceptance. In parallel, this project will define the amount and composition of residues of certain areas as canteens to be used as feedstock additive in bioprocesses.

The envisaged impacts include minimization of food waste and generation of bio-based products utilizing the unavoidable and non-edible portion of food waste, either from food processing or food consumption. Outputs will include processes that flexibly exploit feedstocks to reduce costs, improve sustainability and accelerate commercial end-uses. In order to achieve this acid fermentation with monoculture will be envisaged as a bioprocess that might be faster and more efficient than traditional mixed acid fermentation.

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Aim

The following are the main objectives of the project:

  1. Supporting the EU-level target to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030 by preventing, reducing and reusing the food waste of different sectors
  2. Improving the quality and value of separately collected food and food waste, by discovering the optimal methods for its redistribution, use as feed, and as a raw material for new products
  3. Addressing the potential problems with plastic packaging in the food chain as a potential contaminant of organic resources and waste, and evaluate those problems in light of the benefits of plastic in preserving food and reducing transport weight
  4. Addressing food waste as a renewable resource, supporting the business-based waste technology by co-operating closely with SME’s acting on different areas of this future business
  5. Quantifying and evaluating the financial, environment (including GHG emissions) and social impacts of the proposed actions

Expected results

The project provides a new concept to be applied for waste utilization. The study will improve the efficiency of food system by creating and supporting networks among food industries, authorities, municipalities, supermarkets, charity organisations and households to promote sustainable and safe redistribution and recycling of food. Technological and life-cycle assessments will resolve knowledge transferability and biosecurity issues and optimise performance and product quality.

Key words

Food waste, hospitality sector, valorisation of waste, waste reduction

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Project consortium

Coordinated by

Dr. Saija Rasi - Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) FINLAND

Partners

  • GERMANY: University of applied Science Muenster and Technische Universität Berlin (TUB)
  • SWEDEN: Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU)
  • NORWAY: Østfoldforskning - Ostfold Research

Runtime project

The AVARE project started on 01/05/2018 and runs until 31/10/2021. 

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