Sustainable, flavourful and healthy vacuum-dried products from food waste – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Food Science > Research projects > Design and Consumer Behavior > 110.WasteTaste

25 November 2015

Sustainable, flavourful and healthy vacuum-dried products from food waste

The conversion of food waste into new valuable food ingredients and new products via energy-efficient vacuum-drying opens up the potential of a wide new market for the processing industries, and product developers and chefs.

Overproduction of food in highly developed countries is a reality, and consequently an increasing amount of environmental and economic resources are inefficiently utilised.

The high demand for fresh fruit and vegetable that meet the requirements for quality, freshness, shape and size causes overproduction.

About 110,000 tonnes of edible fruits and vegetables go to waste every year, which is approximately 33 percent of the produced amount of edible fruits and vegetables.

The food waste used as the basis for the present project is fit for human consumption.

Heat-sensitive products

The aim of this project is to convert the wasted vegetables, fruits and berries into valuable food ingredients and new products via an energy-efficient vacuum-drying technique, and hereby markedly reduce food waste.

Overproduction of food in highly developed countries is a reality, and consequently an increasing amount of environmental and economic resources are inefficiently utilised.

Drying food is a widely used preservation technique. Freeze-drying is currently the most common drying method. However, vacuum-drying is cheaper as it uses less energy compared to freeze-drying, and thus is significantly more cost effective and environmentally friendly.

Due to the vacuum pressure, the boiling point of the volatile components is reduced, allowing the vacuum-drying process to take place at lower temperatures, e.g. 60°C. Thus, vacuum-drying is more suitable for heat-sensitive products such as fruits, vegetables and berries because it maintains the flavour and nutrient properties.

Original title: Sustainable, flavourful and healthy vacuum dried products from food waste - WasteTaste

Start date: August 2014

End date: July 2017

Grant donor: Green Developmet & Demonstration 

Programme

FOOD grant: DKK 5,114,792

Total budget: DKK 6,638,601