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Food Waste Management and Innovative Sustainable Valorization Strategies in Different Countries

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 22620

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
AgriFoodtech Innovation & Research (SAFIR), F-62000 Arras, France
Interests: food sustainability; food waste valorization; food industry 4.0 technologies; emerging food trends; food processing and analytical techniques
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Assistant Guest Editor
Faculty of Food Science and Technology, University of Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
Interests: food management; food consumption; food chemistry; food industry; sustainable sources

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Assistant Guest Editor
Gourmet International Ltd., Izmir 35550, Turkey
Interests: valorization of by-products and traditional products; nutritional quality; efficient and sustainable processes; food sustainability; production efficiency and savings; new product development; food chemistry; mathematical modelling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The transition to more sustainable food systems requires, first and foremost, a successful management of available food resources as well as food waste and loss. Despite the incredibly advanced technologies accessible nearly worldwide today, one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, causing huge environmental problems in addition to economic loss and food insecurity issues. Fortunately, growing interest has recently been focused on the reduction of food waste and the recovery of valuable compounds (e.g., proteins, lipids, antioxidants and other valuable compounds) from food processing by-products and other food waste.

Technological innovations and advancement (e.g., enzymatic hydrolysis, nanotechnology, and green extraction technologies) are promising tools in the fight to reduce food waste and hunger and to enhance circular economy and food sustainability. Recent literature studies show for example that i) fruit processing waste can be used for the development of edible biodegradable packaging; ii) olive by-products could be rich in phenols, polysaccharides, minerals, and fatty acids; and iii) crustacean processing and other seafood processing by-products are valuable sources of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, peptides, enzymes, gelatin, and other value-added bioactive compounds.

The main objective of this Special Issue is to share recent knowledge about the emerging solutions and strategies to produce less food waste, while using all waste as raw material for other food industries. A critical comparison among different food waste management models across various countries in the form of case studies would be advisable. The outlook of this Special Issue is expected to help in transforming food waste from a problem to a resource, and to achieve several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially goals 2, 12, and 13.

Dr. Abdo Hassoun
Guest Editor
Dr. Monica Trif
Dr. María Carpena Rodríguez
Dr. Begüm Önal
Assistant 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 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 2400 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

  • novel techniques
  • sustainability
  • by-products
  • bioactive compounds
  • green technologies

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 795 KiB  
Article
Production and Evaluation of Pleurotus spp. Hybrids Cultivated on Ecuadorian Agro-Industrial Wastes: Using Multivariate Statistical Methods
by Juan Diego Valenzuela-Cobos, Fabricio Guevara-Viejó, Ana Grijalva-Endara, Purificación Vicente-Galindo and Purificación Galindo-Villardón
Sustainability 2023, 15(21), 15546; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152115546 - 2 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 997
Abstract
The sustainable management of agricultural residues is a pivotal element in ensuring the sustainable development of agriculture. This is based on strategies that include the reutilization of residues as a substrate for the cultivation of economically significant mushroom species. The primary aim of [...] Read more.
The sustainable management of agricultural residues is a pivotal element in ensuring the sustainable development of agriculture. This is based on strategies that include the reutilization of residues as a substrate for the cultivation of economically significant mushroom species. The primary aim of this investigation is to assess the viability of utilizing two of the most prevalent agricultural residues in Ecuador as a substrate for the cultivation of hybrids within the Pleurotus genus. This assessment includes an evaluation of the nutritional and productivity parameters exhibited by the resulting mushrooms, employing multivariate statistical methodologies. The hybrid strains were developed by crossing compatible neohaplonts obtained through chemical dedikaryotization. A total of five neohaplonts of Pleurotus ostreatus as parental strain P1 and five monokaryons of Pleurotus djamor as parental strain P2 were randomly crossed in all possible combinations. Two parental hybrid strains, H1 and H2, were produced. These hybrids were cultivated using agricultural waste substrates, specifically, green banana leaves (GBL) and sugarcane bagasse (SB). Two distinct treatments or mixtures were tested: M1 (composed of 80% SB and 20% GBL) and M2 (composed of 20% SB and 80% GBL). It was found that the M1 blend promotes mushroom growth, yielding superior properties attributable to the higher proportion of nutritional content derived from sugarcane bagasse. Full article
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31 pages, 4175 KiB  
Article
Policy Recommendations for Reducing Food Waste: An Analysis Based on a Survey of Urban and Rural Household Food Waste in Harbin, China
by Chang Liu, Jie Shang, Chen Liu, Hui Wang and Shuya Wang
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 11122; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151411122 - 17 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2252
Abstract
Food waste has become a pressing global issue in recent years. In China, the issue of food waste has become increasingly severe. As a provincial capital city, Harbin is also a major agricultural city in China with distinct urban and rural features. This [...] Read more.
Food waste has become a pressing global issue in recent years. In China, the issue of food waste has become increasingly severe. As a provincial capital city, Harbin is also a major agricultural city in China with distinct urban and rural features. This paper uses Harbin as a case study to evaluate different strategies for preventing and reducing food waste based on these urban–rural differences. This research is based on official data on household food waste in urban and rural areas of Harbin, as well as data collected from 333 telephone surveys through stratified random sampling. Independent t-tests, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and logistic regression analysis were used to analyze the survey data, followed by a review of existing food waste policies and strategies. Our findings show that Harbin has had a positive response in adhering to national anti-food waste policies. However, its implementation has not been effective. There is a continuous increase in food waste generation. Moreover, gender, level of education, and household annual income have a significant impact on residents’ food waste habits and there are significant differences between urban and rural areas in terms of “eating out” and “ordering food ingredients”. The average daily amount of food waste generated by urban households is 3216.31 g, which is 2.4 times that of rural households. There are also differences in the causes of food waste between urban and rural residents due to different diets and eating habits. As a result, feasible and effective policy recommendations have been proposed to reduce food waste in response to these urban–rural differences. Full article
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12 pages, 285 KiB  
Article
Food Waste in Distribution: Causes and Gaps to Be Filled
by Francisco Carlos Vaz Sales, Michele De Souza, Luiz Reni Trento, Giancarlo Medeiros Pereira, Miriam Borchardt and Gabriel Sperandio Milan
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3598; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043598 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4048
Abstract
This qualitative study investigated the gaps that hinder fruit and vegetable waste reduction in small distributors serving the last miles of the food chain. Fifteen Brazilian distributors operating far from the producers were analyzed. The findings contribute to the literature by showing several [...] Read more.
This qualitative study investigated the gaps that hinder fruit and vegetable waste reduction in small distributors serving the last miles of the food chain. Fifteen Brazilian distributors operating far from the producers were analyzed. The findings contribute to the literature by showing several research gaps. The surplus in farmer planting increases waste generation at the level of distributors. We should know how to collect and process the relevant data to forecast the demand of each small farmer or distributor (e.g., tendencies in market demands or other farmers’ planting plans). Sectoral entities should use these data to help actors define how much to plant or buy. The acceptance of waste by farmers and distributors has a financial reason. Changing such acceptance requires the demonstration of financial gain that a more sustainable approach may have. We need to know how to calculate the economic gains and losses related to waste reduction throughout the chain (before developing useful mitigators). We should also know how to induce entrepreneurs to invest in better resources or practices in transportation, handling, packaging, and storage. Selling items before their decline avoids waste. We need to know how to improve small actors’ gains to increase sales of such products. Full article
11 pages, 1383 KiB  
Article
Food Sustainability Study in Ecuador: Using PCA Biplot and GGE Biplot
by Juan Diego Valenzuela-Cobos, Fabricio Guevara-Viejó, Purificación Vicente-Galindo and Purificación Galindo-Villardón
Sustainability 2022, 14(20), 13033; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013033 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1654
Abstract
Agriculture is one of the main sectors of Ecuador’s economy, and the principal agricultural product for exportation is cocoa. Flour samples of two mixtures were taken: a total of 50 samples of 85% cocoa bean shell (harvested from a farm) mixed with 15% [...] Read more.
Agriculture is one of the main sectors of Ecuador’s economy, and the principal agricultural product for exportation is cocoa. Flour samples of two mixtures were taken: a total of 50 samples of 85% cocoa bean shell (harvested from a farm) mixed with 15% soy flour (Mixture 1) and 50 samples of 75% cocoa bean shell (harvested from a farm) mixed with 25% soy flour (Mixture 2). The parameters evaluated were: moisture, protein, fat, carbohydrates, ash, total dietary fiber (TDF), and biological activity. Multivariate statistical techniques, such as PCA biplots and GGE biplots, were used to present each parameter (vector) measured. The biplot techniques suggested that the flour samples corresponding to Mixture 1 indicated the most significant values of nutritional and commercial properties. The results suggest that the use of mixtures of cocoa bean shell flour with soy flour can be used as ingredients to produce new foods. Full article
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Review

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17 pages, 1208 KiB  
Review
A Retrospective on the Innovative Sustainable Valorization of Cereal Bran in the Context of Circular Bioeconomy Innovations
by Tabussam Tufail, Huma Bader Ul Ain, Farhan Saeed, Makia Nasir, Shahnai Basharat, Mahwish, Alexandru Vasile Rusu, Muzzamal Hussain, João Miguel Rocha, Monica Trif and Rana Muhammad Aadil
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14597; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114597 - 7 Nov 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2149
Abstract
Handling industrial agricultural wastes is a requirement for industrial waste management in the context of circular bioeconomy innovations. The recovery and re-use of agricultural wastes and their by-products have become an important topic of research and development to investigate their functional and nutraceutical [...] Read more.
Handling industrial agricultural wastes is a requirement for industrial waste management in the context of circular bioeconomy innovations. The recovery and re-use of agricultural wastes and their by-products have become an important topic of research and development to investigate their functional and nutraceutical properties. The bioeconomy provides an opportunity to create innovative bio-based products and processes, thereby opening up new markets. Agricultural waste contains a high concentration of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, and other functional compounds such as antioxidants, which can be used to add value to a variety of food products. Due to its higher nutritional profile, cereal bran, as an agricultural waste and by-product, has a variety of functional and nutraceutical properties. Despite the fact that it is rich in bioactive compounds with health benefits, cereal bran is still underutilized in the food system. It can be used either directly for the processing of various foods or the extraction of various bioactive components present therein. Furthermore, the extracts from cereal bran have been used to obtain antioxidants, antibiotics, vitamins, and enzymes as functional components to be employed in agri-food and animal feed, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries. Therefore, this review aims to promote cereal bran waste and by-products, highlighting how to use them as functional ingredients with health-promoting properties and desirable technological aspects. Currently, there are few data on the nutritional exploration of these by-products as health-promoting agri-food products. Cereal bran is a nutritious natural agricultural by-product, but its potential application in the food industry is still limited due to a lack of literature focused on its quality attributes, which may become useful for informal explanation and evaluation during food product formulation. With the growing demand for fiber-rich foods, cereal bran valorization can generate revenue for milling industries. Full article
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15 pages, 1121 KiB  
Review
Nutritional Profile, Phytochemical Compounds, Biological Activities, and Utilisation of Onion Peel for Food Applications: A Review
by Irtiqa Shabir, Vinay Kumar Pandey, Aamir Hussain Dar, Ravi Pandiselvam, Sobiya Manzoor, Shabir Ahmad Mir, Rafeeya Shams, Kshirod K. Dash, Ufaq Fayaz, Shafat Ahmad Khan, G. Jeevarathinam, Yue Zhang, Alexandru Vasile Rusu and Monica Trif
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 11958; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141911958 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 5800
Abstract
The majority of the by products formed during onion processing remain unutilized, yet they are rich in bioactive compounds and phytochemicals. Onions are a very valuable vegetable. Onion chemical compounds are incredibly diverse, and they work through a variety of pharmacological mechanisms to [...] Read more.
The majority of the by products formed during onion processing remain unutilized, yet they are rich in bioactive compounds and phytochemicals. Onions are a very valuable vegetable. Onion chemical compounds are incredibly diverse, and they work through a variety of pharmacological mechanisms to prevent disease. Although the mechanism of the action of the chemicals found in onions has been studied, there is still room for further reformulating of nutrient supplements and pharmaceutical treatments thanks to a growing interest in sustainable resource utilisation and circular economy. This review focuses on the primary bioactive components found in onion peel and skin, particularly total phenolics, quercetin, total flavonoids, and their derivatives, as well as their therapeutic uses such as cardioprotective, anticancer, neuroprotective, antiobesity, antidiabetic, and antibacterial constituents. This review article noted that onion peel is a valuable agricultural byproduct that has a variety of biologically active compounds so it can be used as a health-regulating ingredient, particularly in the biomedical and pharmacological domains. Full article
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22 pages, 973 KiB  
Review
How Blockchain Facilitates the Transition toward Circular Economy in the Food Chain?
by Ashkan Pakseresht, Sina Ahmadi Kaliji and Vilma Xhakollari
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11754; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811754 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3873
Abstract
Food loss and waste are two of the many problems that modern society is facing. To date, among many solutions, the circular economy is the one prevailing. A successful transition toward a circular economy (CE) requires the food sector to overcome the challenges [...] Read more.
Food loss and waste are two of the many problems that modern society is facing. To date, among many solutions, the circular economy is the one prevailing. A successful transition toward a circular economy (CE) requires the food sector to overcome the challenges of today’s complex food supply chains such as information asymmetry, poor cooperation among stakeholders, and concerns about food safety. Blockchain, a form of distributed ledger technology, has been progressively gaining traction in supply chains in areas like data management, certifying product provenance and tracking products. Despite its importance, knowledge around the potential of the blockchain technology in facilitating the transition towards a circular economy in the agri-food sector is fragmented. This review provides evidence-based insights into the blockchain implementations in the food supply chains and the implications for CE. Our findings indicated four major areas that blockchain could accelerate CE in the agri-food sector: improving data utility; supply chain management efficacy; enhanced eco-efficiency; and superior traceability. Full article
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