Main research question/goal
This Interreg TRIPLE F project is working on solutions to reduce food losses and to reuse valuable edible waste streams in Flanders and the Netherlands. The food industry is a partner and stakeholder in the project, because they are always looking for more and new natural ingredients. It is realized that until now (too) little useful applications are being found for the large amounts of vegetable residual streams. There was a reason for this: residues from a process that produces and processed fruit / vegetables are highly perishable, and the seasonal peaks and troughs in availability are an organizational challenge. It is these drawbacks and objections that are addressed in 'Foodfromfood', on the basis of concrete cases.Research approach
We work out four promising cases in detail. Two of them are already known: leek and carrot. In leek production, cleaning the leeks to make them attractive for the fresh market results in massive amounts of lost green leek leaves. Each producer easily generates 1,500 tons of lost biomass per year. These residues are full of health promoting compounds such as sulfur compounds, fibers and polyphenols. The carrot waste stream is rich on carotenoids and fibers. It is estimated to be 300,000 tons per years in the BeNeLux countries. In the course of the project the two other cases will be decided, and another 20 smaller cases are worked out. An online tool to map food waste streams in Flanders and the Netherlands is developed together with pilot food processing equipment for creating food from food. We also develop an online tool that maps out residual flows in Flanders and the Netherlands, as well as the open pilot equipment with which they can be processed.Relevance/Valorisation
A quickly growing societal support for better valorization of vegetal by-products and residues is opening doors in the various links of the food production chain. To achieve feasible business cases, a great deal of technical and multidisciplinary knowledge must be built. The participation of motivated firms and the support from Europe and the Belgian province of East Flanders guarantee that steps are taken in the right direction. The concrete cases are expected to inspire businesses that learn of the results; this is in fact the main goal of the project.