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Danish food industry is good at reusing food waste and by-products from food production

A new report from Aarhus University shows that the Danish food industry is good at reusing food waste and by-products from food production in various ways, so that food loss and waste is limited. Especially by-products from the animal production is limited.

Unfit vegetables are used to produce biogas, cracked eggs are incorporated in mink feed and waste milk can be used for calf feed. In Denmark, the food industry is good at limiting food loss and waste by using discarded products for other purposes – completely in line with the spirit of the circular bioeconomy.

– In relation to the quantity produced, only small percentages in both primary production and the food industry are wasted on an annual basis in Denmark, says scientific assistant Anna Borum from the Department of Food, Aarhus University.

Together with colleagues from the Department of Food and the Department of Agroecology, she has mapped food loss and waste in the food industry in Denmark. The results are presented in a new report published by DCA – Danish National Center for Food and Agriculture.

Minimal amounts of waste

According to the United Nations Health Organization FAO, more than a third of the food produced worldwide is wasted. In the new report, researchers from Aarhus University examined both the primary production and the food industry to study the amount of food loss and waste.

The report showed that the waste in Danish primary production and food industry is minimal and that most of the food loss and waste does not actually goes to waste, but is recycled for various purposes. A lot of by-products are e.g. used for various purposes such as production of biogas, animal feed or field fertilizers. In the latter application, it contributes to the nutrient supply and improvement of soil fertility. Finally, some waste products are used for high value products such as fish oil or fishmeal that can be used in food or feed production.

Most of the global food waste occur elsewhere in the value chain, that is, from retail and to consumers. It is estimated that in industrialized countries, waste from consumers accounts for approximately 40 per cent of total food waste.

Find the whole report here.

Sourse: Aarhus University

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