This report examines and evaluates the availability and effectiveness of existing ICT-based tools and smart technologies for food management and waste reduction by consumers. It results that consumers seem to be interested in apps that help in reducing food waste, but do not perceive a clear need to use these as they think that they do not waste much food. Further, results of the study indicate that user-friendliness is a key component.
This research investigated the consumer understanding and acceptance of different valorisation methods for food surplus and side-flows. Of particular interest was the extent to which consumers accept and even appreciate products resulting from innovative waste valorisation processes. Results showed that although gleaning-based valorised products were deemed acceptable to be used within the setting of school lunches, the other valorisation methods were not, however, the participants did not view them as unsuitable for adult consumption.
Finicky eating habits and wasteful processes have led to a system that discards millions of tonnes of food each year, but new approaches are salvaging the scraps we never see to make products that people will want to eat. The EU Research & Innovation Magazine HORIZON published an article on how innovations from REFRESH and other projects offer different possibilities to valorise by-products from food production.
From the increasingly-popular OERei™ to Friendly Fish™ sustainable fish food and Bloosom™ soil improver, Protix are processing insects – cultivated on fruit and vegetable residues – into a wide variety of products. "And there are many more applications in the pipeline," says Tarique Arsiwalla, founder of one of the first 'insect factories' in the world and a member of the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF). The Taskforce is one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
From a magic box which allows consumers to buy surplus food from shops and restaurants, to an exclusive liqueur made from recovered apples, Dutch start-up entrepreneurs are driven and creative in the fight against food waste. Four of them tell their stories.
Crooked cucumbers, two-legged carrots, pears too big - or too small. In the Netherlands, more than 10% of all fruit and vegetables grown will not be sold, because they don’t fit the accepted norms. Kromkommer wants to change this perception of ‘beauty’. "We’re giving fruit and vegetables back their rights.", says founder Chantal Engelen.
A broad, cross-sector approach to halving food waste and optimizing the value of (unavoidable) residual flows is the keystone of the European program, REFRESH. "We gather knowledge and insights and make them available to other countries," says Toine Timmermans, spokesperson for the Dutch Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF), one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
Do not waste anything. That is the mission of the Helmond company, VanrijsingenGreen. "We sow, harvest and sell vegetables sustainably. And we create added value from what is left over, processing it into products such as carrot pulp and kale juice ", says Jan van Rijsingen, former director of the family business and now board member of the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF). TCEF is one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
Entrepreneur Bob Hutten is convinced that the key to reducing food waste is cooperation. In the hothouse atmosphere of his THREE-SIXTY Innovation Center in Veghel, he brings together parties, inside and outside the food chain, to brainstorm new solutions. "We have to start thinking in terms of systems", says Hutten, member of the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF). The TCEF is one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
How do we together reduce food waste and what are the challenges and needs of the different players? This was the question that engaged the almost 80 participants under the "Challenge Workshop on Food Waste " held at the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) Agrifood and Bioscience, Gothenburg, Sweden on September 27. The workshop resulted in the identification of 48 concrete activities.