Special Issue "Sustainable Technologies for the Revalorization of Agro-Food Residues"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Vito Verardo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Granada, Campus of Cartuja, 18011 Granada, Spain
2. Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of Granada, Avda Fuentenueva, 18071 Granada, Spain
Interests: antioxidants; natural product chemistry; antioxidant activity; phytochemicals; lipids; lipid oxidation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Javier Miguel Ochando-Pulido
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agri-food residues are organic “wastes” that result from the processing of the agri-food industry. They include agro-residues (such as leaves, stems, roots, etc.) and food co/by-products that are produced during food processing (fruit and vegetable peel and seed, wastewaters, damaged and broken products, animal residues, whey, etc.). Usually, these residues have a negative environmental and economic impact. However, they contain several added-value compounds that could be used for the technological and nutritional scope or as raw material for biorefinery or which may be of interest for the biotechnological, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries, among others.

The concept of the circular economy involves the use of sustainable processes from both an environmental and economic point of view in order to revalorize agro-food residues. In this way, strategies are focused on reducing waste treatment costs to obtain added-value products. This aspect is receiving a large amount of attention as the European Commission is promoting the transition towards a circular economy which aims at “closing the loop” of the production chain by recycling and re-using resources, bringing benefits for the environment, society. and the economy.

Based on this scenario, this Special Issue will have an interdisciplinary focus, including the food technology, microbiology, chemical engineering, and biochemistry areas, with the aim to publish high-quality research papers as well as review articles addressing recent advances on agro-food waste revalorization.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • “Green” extraction techniques for the extraction of bioactive compounds;
  • Identification and quantitation of valuable compounds in agro-food residues;
  • Assessment of beneficial effects bioactive compounds from agro-food residues;
  • Functional ingredients;
  • Use of agro-food residues for biorefinery.

Dr. Vito Verardo
Dr. Javier Miguel Ochando-Pulido
Guest Editors

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. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 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.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Multi-Response Optimization of Coagulation and Flocculation of Olive Mill Wastewater: Statistical Approach
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 2344; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052344 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 409
Abstract
Olive oil production is one of the important industrial sectors within the agro-food framework of the Mediterranean region, economically important to the people working in this sector, although there is also a threat to the environment due to residues. The main wastes of [...] Read more.
Olive oil production is one of the important industrial sectors within the agro-food framework of the Mediterranean region, economically important to the people working in this sector, although there is also a threat to the environment due to residues. The main wastes of the olive oil extraction process are olive mill wastewater (OMW) and olive husks which also require proper treatment before dismissal. In this research work, the main goal is to introduce grey relational analysis, a technique for multi-response optimization, to the coagulation and flocculation process of OMW to select the optimum coagulant dosage. The coagulation and flocculation process was carried out by adding aluminum sulfate (Alum) to the waste stream in different dosages, starting from 100 to 2000 mg/L. In previous research work, optimization of this process on OMW was briefly discussed, but there is no literature available that reports the optimal coagulant dosage verified through the grey relational analysis method; therefore, this method was applied for selecting the best operating conditions for lowering a combination of multi-responses such as chemical oxygen demand (COD), total organic carbon (TOC), total phenols and turbidity. From the analysis, the 600 mg/L coagulant dosage appears to be top ranked, which obtained a higher grey relational grade. The implementation of statistical techniques in OMW treatment can enhance the efficiency of this process, which in turn supports the preparation of waste streams for further purification processes in a sustainable way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for the Revalorization of Agro-Food Residues)
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Article
Technical and Economic Feasibility of a Stable Yellow Natural Colorant Production from Waste Lemon Peel
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(19), 6812; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10196812 - 28 Sep 2020
Viewed by 645
Abstract
A brief technical and economic insight into producing the water-soluble yellow colorant limocitrol 3-O-6″-[3-hydroxyl-3-methylglutaryl)])-β-d-glucopyranoside from waste lemon peel via simple solid–liquid extraction in aqueous ethanol or via hydrodynamic cavitation of waste lemon peel in water shows that [...] Read more.
A brief technical and economic insight into producing the water-soluble yellow colorant limocitrol 3-O-6″-[3-hydroxyl-3-methylglutaryl)])-β-d-glucopyranoside from waste lemon peel via simple solid–liquid extraction in aqueous ethanol or via hydrodynamic cavitation of waste lemon peel in water shows that the biocolorant can be obtained with multiple technical and economic advantages. Coupled with the simplicity and sustainability of the extraction processes suggested, the high chemical and physical stability of this polymethoxylated flavonol and the health benefits of citrus flavonoids support industrialization of this new bioeconomy production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for the Revalorization of Agro-Food Residues)
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Article
A Box-Behnken Design for Optimal Green Extraction of Compounds from Olive Leaves That Potentially Activate the AMPK Pathway
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(13), 4620; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10134620 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 792
Abstract
Olive leaves contain bioactive compounds that have been shown to activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which decreases intracellular lipid accumulation. Microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) is a green extraction technique that is frequently used in the recovery of phenolic compounds from plants. Thus, in this [...] Read more.
Olive leaves contain bioactive compounds that have been shown to activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which decreases intracellular lipid accumulation. Microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) is a green extraction technique that is frequently used in the recovery of phenolic compounds from plants. Thus, in this study, a Box-Behnken design was used to optimize MAE conditions such as temperature, percentage of ethanol and extraction time to obtain the maximum content of total compounds and compounds that activate AMPK. To this end, all extracts were characterized by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled to Electrospray Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-TOF-MS). The optimum conditions to obtain the highest content of total compounds were 123 °C, 100% of ethanol/water (v/v) and 23 min, whereas the optimum conditions for the highest amount of compounds that activate AMPK were 111 °C, 42% of ethanol/water (v/v) and 23 min. Thus, a multi-analysis by desirability was carried out to establish MAE optimal conditions for both responses. The optimum conditions were 111 °C, 100% EtOH and 23 min with a desirability of 0.97, which means that the responses are close to their individual optimal values. As a result, the olive leaf extract obtained at these optimal MAE conditions has great potential to be effective in the treatment of obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for the Revalorization of Agro-Food Residues)
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Review

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Review
Avocado-Derived Biomass as a Source of Bioenergy and Bioproducts
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(22), 8195; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10228195 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1073
Abstract
The avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is a tree native to Mexico and Guatemala. Avocado consumption, fresh or in the form of processed products, is growing everywhere and it has caused a large number of countries to invest heavily in avocado production. The [...] Read more.
The avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is a tree native to Mexico and Guatemala. Avocado consumption, fresh or in the form of processed products, is growing everywhere and it has caused a large number of countries to invest heavily in avocado production. The industrialization of avocado gives as a result a huge amount of waste, not only the peel and stone but also that waste generated by the pruning practices and oil extraction. These biomasses could be converted into raw materials to obtain different types of co-products, but this implies changes in the use of these resources, the design of efficient production systems, and integration to take full advantage of them, e.g., by developing biorefinery models. Therefore, this review firstly gives a snapshot of those residues generated in the avocado industry and provides their chemical composition. Secondly, this review presents updated information about the valorization ways of avocado-derived biomass to obtain bioenergy, biofuels, and other marketable products (starch, protein, phenolic compounds, and biosorbents, among others) using a single process or integrated processes within a biorefinery context. Green technologies to obtain these products are also covered, e.g., based on the application of microwaves, ultrasound, supercritical fluids, etc. As a conclusion, there is a variety of ways to valorize avocado waste in single processes, but it would be promising to develop biorefinery schemes. This would enable the avocado sector to move towards the zero-waste principle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for the Revalorization of Agro-Food Residues)
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