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Monitoring of Fruit and Vegetable Waste Composting Process: Relationship between Microorganisms and Physico-Chemical Parameters

Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Faculty of Food Engineering, 13 Universitatii Street, 720229 Suceava, Romania
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Processes 2020, 8(3), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8030302
Received: 21 January 2020 / Revised: 14 February 2020 / Accepted: 2 March 2020 / Published: 5 March 2020
The aim of this study was to investigate and evaluate the composting potential of fruit and vegetable waste with sawdust in different combinations and to establish the relationship between microorganisms and physico-chemical parameters. Three samples were made with the C/N ratios of 50 (sample 1), 45 (sample 2), and 30 (sample 3) by adding fruit waste (apple, banana, orange, and kiwi peels) and vegetable waste (cabbage leaves, potato and carrot peels). The total amount of fruit and vegetable waste was approximately 2 kg in each sample to which different quantities of sawdust were added (1.23, 0.14, and 0.203 kg) in order to obtain the C/N ratios proposed and to limit the odor. Composting process was monitored over 70 days, while physico-chemical and microbiological analyses were performed. Results showed that in the first week pH is acidic and electrical conductivity values are high for all three samples, and then the pH values increase during the composting process, while electrical conductivity values decrease. The nitrogen content is low in all samples and will decrease during the first five weeks of the composting process, then begin to increase slightly. Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn values in the all three compost samples are below threshold values. During the composing process the microbial communities are constantly changing. The compost was successfully obtained and meets the requirement standards for agricultural use. It can be concluded that there is statistically significant association between the microorganisms and physico-chemical indicators. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerobic process; food waste; heavy metals; microorganisms; nitrogen content aerobic process; food waste; heavy metals; microorganisms; nitrogen content
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Ghinea, C.; Leahu, A. Monitoring of Fruit and Vegetable Waste Composting Process: Relationship between Microorganisms and Physico-Chemical Parameters. Processes 2020, 8, 302.

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