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Opportunities for waste valorisation in the UK food industry. Published.pdf (4.12 MB)
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Opportunities for waste valorisation in the food industry – A case study with four UK food manufacturers

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-12-13, 11:44 authored by Guillermo Garcia-Garcia, Jamie Stone, Shahin RahimifardShahin Rahimifard
Food manufacturing is comprised of a number of complex processes which generate vast amounts of food waste. Frequently, strategies for dealing with these materials are rudimentary and provide a low economic and environmental value, for instance animal feeding, anaerobic digestion, composting, incineration, landspreading and landfilling. However, food wastes contain numerous chemicals with a wide range of potential commercial applications, which makes these materials suitable feedstocks for valorisation. This paper applies a Waste Flow Modelling methodology to achieve two aims: to provide valuable food manufacturing and waste data in order to better understand current food manufacturing activities, and to analyse existing food waste management practices to lay the foundation for the implementation of alternative food waste valorisation solutions. Four UK industrial companies have been selected and assessed to represent four different food sectors where food waste valorisation could provide an economic and/or environmental advantage: a fruits supplier, a brewery, a potato supplier and a producer of peas. The production line of each of these four businesses is defined and characterised, which allows the identification of food wastes generated. Next, food wastes are categorised and quantified, and their patterns of generation and current waste management practices are described. Sankey diagrams and performance indicators are used to assess the efficiency of processes, combination of processes and the complete production line in terms of food waste generation. Finally, the results are analysed and used to obtain the main conclusions and provide recommendations for an improved food waste management system, with a focus on valorisation opportunities.


The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [grant reference EP/P008771/1].



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Journal of Cleaner Production




1339 - 1356


GARCIA GARCIA, G., STONE, J. and RAHIMIFARD, S., 2018. Opportunities for waste valorisation in the food industry – A case study with four UK food manufacturers. Journal of Cleaner Production, 211, pp.1339-1356.


Elsevier © The Authors


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/




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