FoodWasteEXplorer: Exploring the nutrient content of food side streams

BACKGROUND

Approximately one-third of foods fit for human consumption are wasted globally (ca. 1.3 billion tonnes annually). REFRESH, aims to help reduce food waste across the EU and maximise the value of unavoidable food waste and packaging materials. One element of this goal is improved use of unavoidable food waste (e.g. peel). Thus, some of the most common food products (120) (e.g. almonds) and their associated 1264 side streams (e.g. almond hulls) were identified, based on how much is eaten and the environmental impact of production. This information was used to develop FoodWasteEXplorer, supporting productive use of these natural resources.

DATA SOURCES

Currently, the FoodWasteEXplorer contains ca. 26168 data points, representing 587 nutrients, 698 bioactives and 49 toxicants, collected from a variety of sources, including scientific (peer-reviewed) papers, manufacturers’ data (grey literature) and other data sources. This work is on-going, and more data will be added with time.

USERS

FoodWasteEXplorer is free-of-charge for researchers, government agencies and industry including SMEs, and the general public. Filters can be applied to retrieve selected subsets of data, such as side stream (e.g. peel, stalks, seeds) and component groups (e.g. vitamins, minerals), and search results can be exported for further offline analysis.

WHAT CAN IT BE USED FOR?

FoodWasteEXplorer is a tool for those exploring how food waste might be better used, e.g. citrus peel limonene can be used to make medical plastic. Potentially, a fruit juice producer could use FoodWasteEXplorer to identify this and start the process towards alternative uses.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

REFRESH received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 641933. The aim of FoodWasteEXplorer is to provide easier access to composition data (e.g. nutrients, bioactives, toxicants) for food side streams. It is still in development and we welcome constructive feedback secretariat@eurofir.org. Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia), Quadram Institute Bioscience (United Kingdom) and EuroFIR AISBL (Belgium) are involved in development of FoodWasteEXplorer with support from other experts in academia and industry.