The European project AVARE aims to minimize food waste in the out-of-home catering sector. It also targets to gain an economic benefit by generating biobased products using food waste as a raw material.
Food waste is an ever-present topic in the out-of-home catering sector. Although there are studies examining the reasons why food waste occurs, there is a lack of appropriate avoidance initiatives. At the same time are strategies missing for using food waste as a resource for the processing industry. These topics are focused on in the three-year lasting project AVARE which will be handled by research partners from Scandinavia and Germany. Included in the project are the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), the Norwegian research institute Ostfoldforskning as well as two German institutes, the Institute of Biotechnology at the Technical University Berlin and Institute for Sustainable Nutrition at the University of Applied Science in Münster.
To reach the goal of the study case studies will be conducted with partners of the out-of-home catering sector. Approaches for reducing and preventing of food waste will be determined as well as basic data for process development for the economic use of food waste (WP 1). The research institutes LUKE and TU Berlin will deal with an acid fermentation for the valorisation of food waste (WP 2). Afterwards the different opportunities for using the food waste of WP 1 and 2 will be compared by Life Cycle Assessments, which includes environmental, economic and social factors. All results of the previous work packages will be discussed in stakeholder workshops trying to find the best solutions for the practice. As a last step it is of great importance to publish the results to the public and relevant businesses as well as politicians.
The following are the main objectives of the project:
- Supporting the EU-level target to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030 by preventing, reducing and reusing the food waste of different sectors
- Improving the quality and value of separately collected food and food waste, by discovering the optimal methods for its redistribution, use as feed, and as a raw material for new products
- Addressing the potential problems with plastic packaging in the food chain as a potential contaminant of organic resources and waste, and evaluate those problems in light of the benefits of plastic in preserving food and reducing transport weight
- Addressing food waste as a renewable resource, supporting the business based waste technology by co-operating closely with SME’s acting on different areas of this future business
- Quantifying and evaluating the financial, environment (including GHG emissions) and social impacts of the proposed actions