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Food waste has big potential for value-added ingredients

By Nathan Gray, 04-May-2012

Related topics: Science & Nutrition

New technologies are opening up big potential for the extraction of value-added ingredients from food production and processing wastes, according to one expert. 

Traditionally waste products are seen as a bad thing for industry, both in terms of sustainability and environmental impact, but perhaps more importantly in terms of high costs for removal or treatment. But could all this be about to change?

The idea of extracting valuable ingredients from waste products and processing by-products is not a new one - for example, proteins have been isolated from cheese whey for many years - but new extraction technologies and increasing demand for natural ingredients could open up new avenues for extracting value-added ingredients.

Speaking with FoodNavigator and NutraIngredients Dr Charis Galanakis from the Cyprus University of Technology explained that food wastes are today considered as a cheap source of valuable components. However, he said that whilst the academic world has been very interested in the idea of extracting ingredients from wastes, the food industry has been less taken with the idea so far.