This report provides an overview of how the valorisation tasks within the REFRESH project support the EU food waste targets.
The term valorisation means redirecting former food waste to either food products, feed products, or converting it to or extracting food or feed ingredients, taking into consideration a) adequate supply of such streams (their robustness of supply, quality and composition) and b) adequate market relevancy of the intervention (technologically feasible, economically viable, legislatively compliant and environmentally sustainable / beneficial).
The key conclusions found within this report are:
- Turning food waste into usable products (valorisation) can help towards achieving the EU food waste targets, but this only applies to food waste that was intended for human consumption.
- Moates et al. (2016) defined the top 20 wastes suitable for valorisation. Of these, most are not suitable for human consumption. In fact, when comparing them with definitions set out in the revised Waste Framework Directive (rWFD), most are not defined as a formal food waste. Valorisation of these 20 waste streams would therefore not count towards EU food waste targets.
- Data characterising specific individual food waste streams were unavailable at subsector level.
- Extraction has high potential in terms of value generation. The market volumes for the high-value food ingredients are growing but are still limiting the potential.
- In order to achieve large volumes, the animal feed option is essential.
In conclusion, only valorisation of processing food waste, mixed retail and catering food waste that is currently composted, anaerobically digested or sent to landfill and incinerators could contribute towards the waste reduction targets.
Metcalfe, P., 2019: Role of food waste valorisation potential. REFRESH Deliverable D6.13