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£800,000 for study how to minimize food waste

Staff Writer | January 9, 2017
The project, which received £800,000 funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is a joint collaboration between the universities of York, Loughborough and Nottingham.
Food waste
Study   9.9 million tonnes of food waste
Food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, employing approximately 400,000 people with a turnover of £76 billion.

However, a staggering 9.9 million tonnes of food waste and food by-products are generated per year in the food industry alone, of which 56 per cent is considered unavoidable.

The two year project will explore how systems can be improved to better utilise unavoidable food supply chain wastes (UFSCW).

Food which is lost after harvest and along the distribution and consumption chain has a negative environmental impact, putting pressure on natural resources and ecosystems and causing pollution through food discards.

However, current strategies for dealing with UFSCW are rudimentary and of low value: these include incineration and where possible; animal feed and bedding; compositing; ploughing back in to soil and sometimes landfill.

Scientists said UFSCW has huge potential as a bio-resource as it contains a number of unexploited, bio-based materials and chemicals, with a range of potential commercial applications.