According to the Statistical Database of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAOSTAT), world fruit production is estimated to be 64 million tons. A high percentage of this production (approximately 70%) is used to manufacture products such as juice or marmalade. The end-life of the peel waste is often landfilled or incinerated. The last process represents a very energy consuming process due to the high-water content of the disposed waste material. Under the current influence of the circular economy concept, food waste could be processed into complete bio-exploitation for production of valuable chemicals, which could find application in a vast heterogenous market.
acib has a strong acknowledgment on bio-recycling of various waste streams, i.e., using enzymes, microorganisms and/or their synergistic combination to produce commercially valuable compounds. Food waste represents a resourceful mine of high-value molecules which can be used as a platform for different biotechnological approaches. acib is already working in collaboration with University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) on enzymatic recycling of orange peels for extraction of bioactive compounds and production of chemicals for bio-based, bio-degradable polymer synthesis. We have thereby placed a first step for a full environmentally friendly valorization of fruit peels waste.
Experts:Prof. Dr. Georg Gübitz, Dr. Felice Quartinello
Development status:TRL 4 (reaction already performed in a 5 L reactor scale)
Partner:Dr. Markus Neureiter (BOKU)
Keywords:Environment, Recycling, circular economy, food waste, biotechnological process, valuable compounds
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