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Agri & Gardening agricultural waste turned into food  green alternatives | Upload General

Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives

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by: Sharai Hoekema
agricultural waste turned into food  green alternatives | Upload

Biomass has always been quite the headache for anyone working in the food industry. This term encompasses anything related to the agricultural waste left behind, never to be seen by the consumer - including stems, leaves, seed pots, and so on. The amount of these by-products is staggering. 

Agricultural Waste: A Large Burden On The Environment

Worldwide, the crop-remainders on the field, left behind after harvesting, add up to some 5 billion metric tons. For farmers, it is quite a task to get rid of those residues - and a task that adds to their carbon footprint. Roughly 13% of industry-wide emissions can be contributed to the processing and removal of biomass in any shape, form or size.

potatoes, field
Potatoes left behind to rot

So we are not just leaving quite a lot of product on the table, its ultimate removal and cleanup places an additional burden on the environment as well. For those who think that there should be a better way, you are absolutely right. Thankfully, we are now looking into ways of actually doing so, by turning the waste left behind into useful food products or packaging. 

The concept is fantastic, as it does not only solve the big problem of waste, but it also provides farmers with a much needed additional income stream from this new product. Plus, it is quite easy to implement in the current day-to-day business.

Recommended: Bioplastic From Fish Scale And Skin Composts Quickly: UK

Waste Turned Into Food: Create More Chocolate

The cacao bean, for instance, is a notorious waste-generator. For one pound of cacao produced, there is about twelve pounds of biomass. This is something that can potentially be turned into something useful. Colombian researchers were able to create new products using the cacao waste, such as beer, desserts, juice and nutraceuticals. 

Hand, leaves, Chocolate Bean

In similar experiment, researchers found that they were able to create chocolate using cacao beans and cacao bean waste. This chocolate claims to be 100 percent cacao, while tasting a lot less bitter than traditional forms of pure chocolate. This is the result of the replacement of ‘traditional’ chocolate ingredients like cane sugar, milk and soy lecithin with sweeteners and emulsifiers from the cacao fruit, ingredients that were previously thrown away. It is commercially available under the brand name 'Betul'.

Recommended: Are Bio Based Bottles Good For The Environment?

Tabel, Cacao Beans

Recommended: Dumpster Diving: A Hobby That Helps To Combat Food Waste

Turning Agricultural Waste Into Eco-friendly Products & Packaging


                                                           Rice Husks Dinnerware,100% Biodegradable


European researchers are finding ways of turning agricultural waste into ecofriendly packaging. A double win, as it does not only reduce waste, but also cuts back on the amount of plastic used for packaging. Packaging can be created using residues such as spoiled fruit juices, wheat straw, grapevine shoots and cattle manure - or this is what researchers united in the project GLOPACK have found.

Glopack graph

The downside of this packaging project is that it is more costly. The cost of eco-friendly packaging will be anywhere between € 3 and € 4 per kilogram; whereas regular packaging plastic averages around € 1,50 per kilogram. Yet when looking at the real, true price of plastic vs. ecofriendly alternatives, this will surely tip the scale. Besides, this ecofriendly solution will not just decrease agricultural waste, it will also allow the industry to become less reliant on petrochemical products and decrease their emissions.

Recommended: Vegetables, Fruit, Edible Flowers, But Also Bees In Cities Urban Farming

Green Alternatives: Fruit Pigments And Antioxidants Make Care Products

Meanwhile, in Australia, researchers are figuring out how to use agricultural plant waste to harvest molecules useful in medicine, cosmetics and food additives. This is working particularly well for mushroom residue for medicinal use, leftovers from vegetables such as cauliflower and kale for sulforaphane, a component that boosts specific health benefits - and, most notably, fruit pigments and antioxidants for beauty and skin care products,

fruit, pigment, beauty products graph

These leftovers do not usually have any value, although they are very easy to extract and process into products that actually do have value. In particular the pigments found in blueberries en blackberries are extremely suitable for this purpose, although similar kinds of biomolecules are also produced for apples, cherries, other berries, black olives, and the skins of onions and potatoes. 

Reducing Agricultural Waste While Creating More Products

These examples of Australian, European and Columbian initiatives are just mere examples of the many ways in which we can re-use our agricultural waste and previously unused by-products of our food production. It is definitely something that should be pursued for anyone working with biomass, not only because it is the more sustainable thing to do, but also because it can really enhance the producer’s bottom line by introducing one or several extra products. 

So if the green element does not do it for you, the green numbers below your profit line might. 

Before you go!

Recommended: Sustainable Bicycle Is Made From Recycled Plastic In Brazil

Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

Like to write your own article about recycling?
Click on 'Register' or push the button 'Write An Article' on the 'HomePage'

Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives

Biomass has always been quite the headache for anyone working in the food industry. This term encompasses anything related to the agricultural waste left behind, never to be seen by the consumer - including stems, leaves, seed pots, and so on. The amount of these by-products is staggering.   Agricultural Waste: A Large Burden On The Environment Worldwide, the crop-remainders on the field, left behind after harvesting, add up to some 5 billion metric tons. For farmers, it is quite a task to get rid of those residues - and a task that adds to their carbon footprint. Roughly 13% of industry-wide emissions can be contributed to the processing and removal of biomass in any shape, form or size. Potatoes left behind to rot So we are not just leaving quite a lot of product on the table, its ultimate removal and cleanup places an additional burden on the environment as well. For those who think that there should be a better way, you are absolutely right. Thankfully, we are now looking into ways of actually doing so, by turning the waste left behind into useful food products or packaging.   The concept is fantastic, as it does not only solve the big problem of waste, but it also provides farmers with a much needed additional income stream from this new product. Plus, it is quite easy to implement in the current day-to-day business. Recommended:  Bioplastic From Fish Scale And Skin Composts Quickly: UK Waste Turned Into Food: Create More Chocolate The cacao bean, for instance, is a notorious waste-generator. For one pound of cacao produced, there is about twelve pounds of biomass. This is something that can potentially be turned into something useful. Colombian researchers were able to create new products using the cacao waste, such as beer, desserts, juice and nutraceuticals.   In similar experiment, researchers found that they were able to create chocolate using cacao beans and cacao bean waste. This chocolate claims to be 100 percent cacao, while tasting a lot less bitter than traditional forms of pure chocolate. This is the result of the replacement of ‘traditional’ chocolate ingredients like cane sugar, milk and soy lecithin with sweeteners and emulsifiers from the cacao fruit, ingredients that were previously thrown away. It is commercially available under the brand name 'Betul'. Recommended:  Are Bio Based Bottles Good For The Environment? Recommended:  Dumpster Diving: A Hobby That Helps To Combat Food Waste Turning Agricultural Waste Into Eco-friendly Products & Packaging {youtube}                                                            Rice Husks Dinnerware,100% Biodegradable European researchers are finding ways of turning agricultural waste into ecofriendly packaging. A double win, as it does not only reduce waste, but also cuts back on the amount of plastic used for packaging. Packaging can be created using residues such as spoiled fruit juices, wheat straw, grapevine shoots and cattle manure - or this is what researchers united in the project GLOPACK have found. The downside of this packaging project is that it is more costly. The cost of eco-friendly packaging will be anywhere between € 3 and € 4 per kilogram; whereas regular packaging plastic averages around € 1,50 per kilogram. Yet when looking at the real, true price of plastic vs. ecofriendly alternatives, this will surely tip the scale. Besides, this ecofriendly solution will not just decrease agricultural waste, it will also allow the industry to become less reliant on petrochemical products and decrease their emissions. Recommended:  Vegetables, Fruit, Edible Flowers, But Also Bees In Cities Urban Farming Green Alternatives: Fruit Pigments And Antioxidants Make Care Products Meanwhile, in Australia, researchers are figuring out how to use agricultural plant waste to harvest molecules useful in medicine, cosmetics and food additives. This is working particularly well for mushroom residue for medicinal use, leftovers from vegetables such as cauliflower and kale for sulforaphane, a component that boosts specific health benefits - and, most notably, fruit pigments and antioxidants for beauty and skin care products, These leftovers do not usually have any value, although they are very easy to extract and process into products that actually do have value. In particular the pigments found in blueberries en blackberries are extremely suitable for this purpose, although similar kinds of biomolecules are also produced for apples, cherries, other berries, black olives, and the skins of onions and potatoes.   Reducing Agricultural Waste While Creating More Products These examples of Australian, European and Columbian initiatives are just mere examples of the many ways in which we can re-use our agricultural waste and previously unused by-products of our food production. It is definitely something that should be pursued for anyone working with biomass, not only because it is the more sustainable thing to do, but also because it can really enhance the producer’s bottom line by introducing one or several extra products.   So if the green element does not do it for you, the green numbers below your profit line might.   Before you go! Recommended:  Sustainable Bicycle Is Made From Recycled Plastic In Brazil Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about recycling? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
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