CSIRO comes up with innovative way to reduce food waste

Posted by Nicholas Nakos on 6th November 2017

One third of all food that is produced is lost at some point across the food supply chain, according to the CSIRO.

To address the issue, researchers from CSIRO’s Food Innovation Centre have developed a method to return lost food-grade biomass into the food supply.

Across the supply chain, food loss can occur anywhere from farm to fork. This can be on-farm during harvest from poor handling and storage through to food waste by the consumer.

Globally this food wastage equates to 1.6 gigatonnes every year, with 1.3 gigatonnes still edible at the time of disposal.

CSIRO uses apple pulp to create nutritious food

CSIRO researchers used apples as a model to turn food waste into edible food.

In the apple industry, around two-thirds of apples produced do not meet supermarket specifications.

When used for juicing, the products pulp remains after production and has limited value. At present, it is used in animal feed or compost.

The pulp itself is edible and highly nutritious containing dietary fibres, protein and essential nutrients.

It’s unappetising appearance and texture means that consumers are unlikely to be lured to this nutritious food source as a staple of their diet.

How does the process work?

The CSIRO has been able to develop a process for stabilising the pulp so that it does not degrade and retains its flavour and nutritional value.

It is believed that this process can be applied to other fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, peaches and grapes.

The stabilised apple pulp can be turned into paste, powder or pellets and used as a component for many different food products.

This provides a commercial opportunity for food processors and manufacturers to immerse themselves in a new industry.

It has the benefit of being useful environmentally and a productive solution to food insecurity.

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