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Special Issue "Sustainable Food Waste Management and Utilization"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Trabold

Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology, 111 Lomb Memorial Drive 81-2169, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable food production; food waste-to-energy conversion; sustainable energy systems; fuel cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As world-wide efforts focus on feeding a growing population, the global food industry continues to be burdened by the impacts of food waste. In fact, it is widely reported that 30 to 40% of food produced is never consumed by humans. Although ongoing technical improvements and consumer education will help reduce the fraction of food that is wasted, it is inevitable that there will still be massive volumes of food materials needing proper disposition at the end-of-life. This special issue comprises papers addressing challenges and opportunities in sustainable food waste management and utilization across the farm-to-fork spectrum; from agriculture through all downstream phases of food processing, distribution and consumption. Topics of interest include modeling of logistics associated with food waste resource identification, spatial distribution and transport. There is also particular focus on methods for food waste utilization through composting, waste-to-energy conversion (e.g., anaerobic digestion, fermentation, gasification, etc.), and upcycling to value-added products, such as fertilizer, animal feed and nutritional supplements. Additionally within scope are assessments of embodied water and energy resources in food waste, and comparative analysis of sustainable waste disposition methods and incumbent technologies, such as landfilling and waste water treatment.

Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Trabold
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • food waste
  • organics
  • valorization
  • composting
  • anaerobic digestion
  • fermentation
  • gasification
  • pyrolysis
  • animal feed
  • embodied energy
  • embodied water

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Adapting Nonprofit Resources to New Social Demands: The Food Banks in Spain
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 643; doi:10.3390/su9040643
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Food banks make up an increasing phenomenon of nonprofit organizations answering to new social needs related to the global socioeconomic crisis. In order to explore if they are suitably adapting to their environments in Spain, one of the countries most seriously affected by
[...] Read more.
Food banks make up an increasing phenomenon of nonprofit organizations answering to new social needs related to the global socioeconomic crisis. In order to explore if they are suitably adapting to their environments in Spain, one of the countries most seriously affected by the crisis in South Europe, this work assumes a hybrid qualitative–quantitative structure composed of an exploratory case study based on semi-structured interviews followed by a survey addressed to all the Spanish food banks. Much of the academic literature has concerned the appropriateness of food banks as a delivery mechanism in the context of welfare state withdrawal. This paper takes this in a different direction by examining Spanish food banks from an organizational management point of view. Wary of concerns about the institutionalization of food charity, on the one hand, and recognizing the escalating daily reliance on food banks, on the other, this paper seeks to address potential technical supply problems and challenges food banks face and open debate about the organizational networks of food banks more generally. The results show nonprofit entities based on a voluntary workforce who run supply chains in order to join both social and business targets. Their situation, performance, resources, mutual relationships and the links with other entities are described, paying special attention to the changes induced by the latest contextual changes. In short, food banks are efficiently organized and well established in their territories as a coherent social movement, although they should improve in their strategic view, coordination, resources and sources of these, to satisfy more adequately their increasingly complex demands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Waste Management and Utilization)
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Profile of the Swiss Supply Chain for French Fries: Effects of Food Loss Reduction, Loss Treatments and Process Modifications
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1214; doi:10.3390/su8121214
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 19 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1758 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The production of food is responsible for major environmental impacts. Bearing this in mind, it is even worse when food is lost rather than consumed. In Switzerland, 46% of all processing potatoes and 53% of all fresh potatoes are lost on their way
[...] Read more.
The production of food is responsible for major environmental impacts. Bearing this in mind, it is even worse when food is lost rather than consumed. In Switzerland, 46% of all processing potatoes and 53% of all fresh potatoes are lost on their way from field to fork. Our study therefore compares the environmental impacts of losses of fresh potatoes with those of French fries. With the aid of a Life Cycle Assessment, we assessed the impact categories “demand for nonrenewable energy resources”, “global warming potential”, “human toxicity”, “terrestrial ecotoxicity” and “aquatic ecotoxicity”. Our results show that 1 kg of potatoes consumed as French fries causes 3–5 times more environmental impacts than the same quantity of fresh potatoes, but also that the proportion of impacts relating to losses is considerably lower for French fries (5%–10% vs. 23%–39%). The great majority of processing potato losses occur before the resource-intensive, emission-rich frying processes and therefore the environmental “backpack” carried by each lost potato is still relatively small. Nonetheless, appropriate loss treatment can substantially reduce the environmental impact of potato losses. In the case of French fries, the frying processes and frying oil are the main “hot spots” of environmental impacts, accounting for a considerably higher proportion of damage than potato losses; it is therefore also useful to look at these processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Waste Management and Utilization)
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Open AccessArticle A Cost Analysis of Food Waste Composting in Taiwan
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1210; doi:10.3390/su8111210
Received: 21 July 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (606 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has enacted a food waste recycling policy since 2003 as an alternative of landfill and incineration for the final disposal of municipal solid waste. Recycled food waste is currently seen as a valuable material, especially when appropriate technology
[...] Read more.
Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has enacted a food waste recycling policy since 2003 as an alternative of landfill and incineration for the final disposal of municipal solid waste. Recycled food waste is currently seen as a valuable material, especially when appropriate technology is developed. This paper conducts a cost/benefit analysis based on six cases of food waste composting plants in Taiwan, finding that (1) the composting of food waste may yield the most net benefit compared to other applications of today; (2) the production cost of compost ranges from NT$ 2897–23,117/tonne; (3) the adoption of more automatic technology may reduce operation costs and, thus, a closed composting system with mechanical aeration may be more cost effective; (4) the output is a determinant of affecting production costs and private firms are more competitive in production costs than government-affiliated composting units; (5) all of the government-affiliated composting units face a negative profit and thus they are required to make use of the market value of the produced compost to achieve economic viability; and (6) a subsidy to the compost producer is needed to expand the market demand as the food waste recycled can save the disposal cost of municipal solid waste (MSW) incineration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Waste Management and Utilization)
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Open AccessCommunication Maize Processing Waste Water Upcycling in Mexico: Recovery of Arabinoxylans for Probiotic Encapsulation
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1104; doi:10.3390/su8111104
Received: 9 August 2016 / Revised: 10 October 2016 / Accepted: 18 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2512 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Maize is a major source of food in Mexico. In order to improve its nutritional value, maize kernel is exposed to an alkali treatment that generates large volumes of waste water containing gelling arabinoxylan. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate
[...] Read more.
Maize is a major source of food in Mexico. In order to improve its nutritional value, maize kernel is exposed to an alkali treatment that generates large volumes of waste water containing gelling arabinoxylan. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the capability of maize waste water arabinoxylans (MWAX) to encapsulate probiotics. The rheological, structural, and microstructural characteristics of this bio-based material were also investigated. MWAX gels at 10% (w/v) were able to encapsulate Bifidobacterium as probiotic model. The MWAX gel containing 1 × 107 CFU/mL of probiotics presented a storage (G′) and loss (G″) moduli of 50 and 11 Pa, respectively. The average mesh size of the MWAX gel was around 11 times smaller than the Bifidobacterium cell magnitude. MWAX gels with or without probiotics were studied using scanning electron microscopy. The interior of the Bifidobacterium loaded gels was composed of a pore-like network of MWAX through which probiotics were distributed. The probiotic encapsulating MWAX gels appeared to be less porous than the empty gels. MWAX capability to encapsulate Bifidobacterium may be important in designing probiotic encapsulating biodegradable gels and could represent an opportunity in sustainable food waste management and utilization through upcycling to value-added products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Waste Management and Utilization)
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Open AccessArticle Consumers’ Attitude toward Sustainable Food Products: Ingredients vs. Packaging
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1073; doi:10.3390/su8101073
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 14 October 2016 / Accepted: 18 October 2016 / Published: 23 October 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The availability of and preference for eco-friendly products have increased; however, understanding of sustainable products is still insufficient because most studies have been focused only on organic products. The availability and understanding of organic products are high, but not complete. With regards to
[...] Read more.
The availability of and preference for eco-friendly products have increased; however, understanding of sustainable products is still insufficient because most studies have been focused only on organic products. The availability and understanding of organic products are high, but not complete. With regards to environmental protection, it is important to focus not only on the eco-friendly ingredients but also on the eco-friendly packaging because packaging has recently been found to be a primary cause of pollution. Through three studies, this article investigated the interaction between the effect of consumers’ willingness to buy (WTB), the price premium for eco-friendliness (internal: eco-friendly ingredients vs. external: eco-friendly packaging), and the product’s attributes. Three experimental studies were conducted to determine whether the consumers’ WTB and the price premium for sustainable products differ according to the eco-friendliness of the product and the product’s attributes. In Study 1 and Study 3, analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted; and, in Study 2, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted. The results of Study 1 and Study 2 suggested that the consumers’ WTB for sustainable products can differ according to the product’s attribute. Moreover, results of Study 3 revealed that consumers’ WTB and satisfaction for sustainable products can differ according to level of packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Waste Management and Utilization)
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