IFLFWSG member Guillermo Garcia-Garcia recently published an article in the journal ‘International Journal of Food Engineering’ entitled:
A Framework for a More Efficient Approach to Food Waste Management
The article can be accessed here – http://www.ijfe.org/uploadfile/2015/0618/20150618061756676.pdf.
This paper discusses the various definitions and categorizations of food waste according to different international organisations; reviews the most up-to-date data on waste generated in the food supply chains as well as its environmental impact and assesses the applicability of current waste management options. The summary points are:
– In order to reduce the amount of wasted food and its negative ramifications, a clear definition of “food waste” and a precise and accurate classification of the different food waste categories are essential. The authors believe the most convenient and complete definition of “food waste” is provided by the European project FUSIONS, as it includes inedible parts of food and does not distinguish between food loss and food waste.
– As part of the framework described in this paper, food waste is categorized in nine stages. The result is a range of characteristics, namely edibility, state, origin, complexity, animal product presence, stage of the supply chain, treatment, packaging and packaging biodegradability, each of which determines a specific approach to manage.
– The available and most common waste management technologies are assessed and ordered according to their positive outcomes and negative impacts. The environmental impacts associated with food waste and its management, together with economic and social benefits, are evaluated. As a result, a food waste hierarchy is proposed.
Guillermo Garcia-Garcia is a research assistant at the Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing and Recycling Technologies (SMART), Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, UK