Agricultural food waste accumulation is a major global challenge that invokes ethical responsibilities of industries to innovate environmentally and economically sustainable methods of waste management. An estimate of annual food waste is about 1.4 billion tons globally, of which 40 million tons are attributed to the United States. Several strategies to tackle this monumental task of reducing food waste have been explored such as recycling, composting for fertilizer, animal feed, or repurposing the waste for different products. A revalorization by upcycling seems to be the most promising and profitable. Upcycling transforms low-value foods or food processing byproducts into higher-value ingredients and products. This lecture will discuss the primary focus of our lab at the NC Research Center: to re-invent waste materials and upgrade existing food materials into functional food ingredients. This includes but is not limited to plant-based protein concentrate production, rare sugar recovery, lipid recovery and bioactive extraction.
Registration deadline: Jan. 22
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