Selling food waste: upcycling matchmaking service launched
Food producers can find other businesses to sell their food waste to, thanks to a scheme to help to reduce the binning of by-products in the food industry.
The EIT Food-funded Digital Marketplace for Side Streams will help companies find ways to ‘upcycle’ waste from producing food products by connecting them with firms that can reuse them.
The team behind the project from the University of Reading and European food companies including Givaudan, Döhler, Puratos, and Pepsico have launched a database of possible ways to reuse food waste. The online platform managed by circular economy start-up Rethink Resource can help to show companies how they can make additional money from those by-products, find out other industries that can use these by-products, and reduce the waste from food production.
Dr Afroditi Chatzifragkou, lecturer in food processing at the University of Reading, said, “Companies who we’ve spoken to have all said the same thing that they would love an opportunity to make some money out of what they normally have to throw away. The problem is that most don’t know the value of these by-products or who would be interested in them.
“The idea of the Digital Marketplace for Side Streams is simply that we help to connect businesses who are interested in upcycling their waste with those who can use it. The database is set up in such a way that it will hopefully inspire firms to consider they can be involved in reducing waste from food production in this way.
“One of the great things about the Digital Marketplace is also that the scope for partnership goes beyond just the food industry. Cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies are equally able to use and benefit from by-products and reducing their consumption footprint by taking part in a circular economy like this.”
Global health, nutrition and sustainable living company DSM is a leading provider of specialty ingredients for the food industry. In the Digital Marketplace for Side Streams project, DSM has been working on enzymatic processing of by-products from food production, to explore opportunities for turning waste products into a viable new ingredients.
Dr Marco van den Berg, Principal Scientist Food & Application at DSM said, "At DSM we are very much committed to make our processes and those of our customers more sustainable by offering innovative solutions that bring more value from the same starting material. Recently, we developed CanolaPRO, a plant-based, clean-tasting, nutritionally complete and easy-to-digest protein, with numerous functional benefits in food applications, made from a side-stream of the rapeseed crushing process after oil extraction. Many more avenues remain unexplored, and this EIT project helps us to identify new opportunities previously overlooked.”
Small businesses such as A&R House (BCL) Ltd are also benefiting from opportunities to turn production by-products into extra income. The SME based in Somerset takes various waste products that come from fruit juicing/processing plants. Using high temperature drying, the firm is creating commercial applications from fruit pomace that can be used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry.
Alistair House, Director of A&R House (BCL) Ltd said, “During our collaboration with the University of Reading, we have worked on improving the extraction techniques for anthocyanins from our blackcurrant pomace, which are often less stable that their competitors. This has enabled us to maintain our market positioning by improvements to our process conditions and this has been vital in continuing sales.
“We were also able to characterise the constituents for full commercialization which has led onto further investigations into stabilization techniques.”
Companies interested in signing up side-streams can do so at database.circado.io after registering at circado.io
Tetra Pak study reveals concerns over food safety, environment and pandemic
Tetra Pak has revealed the findings from its global research study, in partnership with market research company Ipsos, showing food safety is a major issue for society.
The same amount of respondents believe that COVID-19 is a “real threat.” At the same time, concern for the environment remains high, which Tetra Pak said creates a dilemma in the consumers’ minds as they try to balance the priorities of human existence through safe food and the sustainability of the planet.
The 13th edition of the Tetra Pak Index showed a 10% increase in global concern about food safety and future food supplies, now at 40%, compared to 30% from 2019. In addition, more than 50% of consumers believe improving food safety is the responsibility of manufacturers, and that it is the number one issue companies need to tackle now and in the future.
According to this year’s research, health is deeply connected to heightened issues of food safety and hygiene, with two-thirds of consumers saying being healthy is being safe and 60% of consumers globally saying they worry about the food they buy being hygienic and safe.
When asked what is key for them in a package, consumers indicated ensuring food safety is its main purpose. They also express concerns about environmental innovations in packaging impacting food safety, even though the majority of respondents indicate ‘using sustainable packaging’ as one of the top issues food and beverage brands need to tackle – today and tomorrow.
Adolfo Orive, president and CEO, Tetra Pak, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the status quo, accelerated trends and created a new landscape of consumer needs and opportunities for companies to build on. In particular, the industry needs to address the growing dilemma around food safety and the environment, stepping up towards the twin goals of meeting the human need for food while protecting our planet’s ecosystem. This is where food packaging can play a strong role in bringing about harmony.”
The Tetra Pak Index 2020 also highlights how food waste is rising in importance, and this is now seen as a concern by more 77% of respondents. The impact of COVID-19 on supply chains has accelerated awareness of food waste as a pressing issue. Tetra Pak said there is a likelihood this sentiment will grow going forward, as the world strives to feed a growing population.
Consumers cite food waste reduction as both the number one environmental issue they can influence themselves and one of the top three priorities for manufacturers. But confusing labeling is a barrier, offering brands a chance for better communication.
When asked which global issues they believed they could influence, 47% chose “preventing food waste” followed by 40% for “single use plastic” and 37% for “dealing with packaging waste.”
In the survey, 39% of global consumers said they throw away food that smells and looks fine because the “best before” date has passed, even if it doesn’t smell or look bad, and 67% thought a product may be unsafe to consume once this date has passed.
Dan Esty, Hillhouse Professor at Yale University, and chair of Tetra Pak’s sustainability advisory panel, said, "This year’s Tetra Pak Index highlights emerging consumer and social concerns that we see increasingly mirrored by academic research. With a growing global population set to require up to 70% more food by 2050, at a time when biodiversity, climate change and food security are becoming ever more pressing, there is an urgent need for change.”
The Ipsos study was based on data from: A global survey of 8,501 consumers from Australia, Brazil, China, France, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia and US; an online social media study analyzing approximately 75,000 online consumer conversations in the US and India over the 24 months leading up to June 2020, including both text and image-based data sources; and a review of existing data and reports.
The data collected for the 2020 Index Report was supplemented with data from Tetra Pak’s latest environmental survey, the Consumer Environmental Trends Report 2020. Conducted in July 2020, the survey is comprised of a total of 4,800 consumer interviews based on an online questionnaire in 16 markets: Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK and US.
DSM boosts lactase portfolio
Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in nutrition, health and sustainable living, has launched its new Maxilact Super lactase enzyme.
Advancing DSM’s portfolio of Maxilact lactases, Maxilact Super enables dairy manufacturers to create high-quality, clean-tasting lactose-free and sugar-reduced dairy, while also helping cut hydrolysis time by 33% and achieve optimal production efficiency.
Maxilact Super is suitable for all dairy product positionings, from regular to organic and Verband Lebensmittel Ohne Gentechnik (VLOG). With this new enzyme, DSM said lactose-free dairy producers can deliver the authenticity, health appeal and sensory experience consumers expect in all applications, without adding complexity to the production process.
The popularity of the lactose-free dairy category continues: DSM said its research showed 71% of consumers are expecting to reduce their sugar intake in the next three to five years.
For lactose-free dairy producers, developing products that align with consumer preferences creates opportunities to differentiate their portfolio, DSM said, while elevating the need for efficient production and increased capacity to stay competitive.
Maxilact Super, the company said, is a ‘one-stop-shop’ enzyme innovation suitable for all lactose-free dairy applications, whether it is milk, milk drinks or yogurt, enabling manufacturers to ‘live’ their labels and create authentic, appealing dairy.
It also offers sugar-reduced options by unlocking the natural sweetness of dairy by breaking down lactose into its sweeter forms, effectively lowering the sugar levels in products by up to as much as 20%. Plus, the Maxilact Super technology helps achieve higher enzyme activity, meaning producers can cut hydrolysis time by a third and achieve a double-digit increase in production efficiency, while also boosting capacity without capex investment.
As part of DSM’s range of Maxilact lactase solutions – including Maxilact Smart and Maxilact LGi – Maxilact Super is free from invertase and arylsulfatase, which can produce off-flavors and reduce stability during the shelf life of dairy products.
“With 71% of consumers checking the labels of the products they purchase, combined with the ever-growing preference for lactose-free dairy and the sugar reduction trend that is here to stay, it is clear that prioritizing health and authenticity is more important than ever for individuals today,” Ben Rutten, global business manager for milk at DSM, said.
“DSM understands the challenges these diverse needs create for lactose-free dairy manufacturers, and with the innovative Maxilact Super solution, producers across the globe can efficiently deliver high-quality sugar-reduced and lactose-free dairy with next generation consumer appeal.”