Exploring the Landscape of Innovative “from Food to Feed” Strategies: A Review

Giovanni Ferrazzi, Vera Ventura, Claudia Maria Balzaretti, Marta Castrica

Abstract


The identification of new strategies to prevent or at least reduce the volume of food waste needs to consider a wide range of solutions and priorities that EU policy is recently implementing. Based on the principles of the circular economy, one of the most promising solutions is to prevent food losses turning into waste by working synergistically on different action points. Amongst them, the strategy of repurposing food waste through conversion in a safe and sustainable feed product is acquiring huge interest amongst scientists and policy makers. In this context, the aim of the work is to depict the landscape of the existent solutions for the valorisation of food waste for animal feeding, through a systematic review of the literature, to answer the following three research questions: 1) To what extent is the interest of the academic research increasing, in line with the priorities of the international political agenda? 2) Which kinds of approaches have been used to explore this issue? 3) What type of solutions is the scientific literature able to propose to support policy makers in setting the strategies for the re‐use of food waste as animal feed? A set of keywords has been applied for the search in the “Topic” option of the Web of Science Core Collection resulting in 114 references. The application of filters for the identification of the relevant papers led to a final dataset composed of 31 scientific studies. Papers have been coded according to the nature of the study, namely theoretical or experimental, the source and the type of food waste considered, the type of technology used to process food waste (if any) and the destination of the final product. The literature suggests that
the most positive aspect related to these practices is the low environmental impact, while the most critical issue regards compliance with the EU legal framework that is strictly dependent on the composition of the wasted food. The analysis revealed a growing interest in this field of research, with a great focus on the estimation of the environmental impact but few studies targeted on the assessment of the economic dimension.

Keywords


Food waste; animal feed; food waste re‐use

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ISSN 1869-6945

 

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