Today, consumers are more aware of risks confronting them and increasingly display a preference for natural entities, which have been generated without human intervention. In addition, they require environmental-friendly food products that are closely tailored to their individual preferences and well-being. These aspects support the promotion of the so-called “green” marketing and quality assurance concepts, e.g. as “organic” and “Protected Designation of Origin” products. The food safety concerns, the health risks, the complexity of globalized food chains and the depletion of food resources create a challenging environment for food innovators. The commercialization of processes dealing with the recovery of valuable compounds from food wastes does not comprise an exception, as it faces important challenges that need integrated solutions.
In order to prevent stifling of innovation in the field from the strict regulations and accelerated safety concerns, and simultaneously address emerging wellness aspects, a new direction for developing and implementing scientific breakthroughs is required. In particular, the legislation challenges regulating health beneficial dietary products are lying to the specificity of the products, which have the characteristics of both food and biologically active ingredients. Thus, it would be advisable to clearly define the manufacturing and quality control criteria related to composition and content range of active substances as well as manufacturing development of the product. Currently, the manufacturer’s label typically provides only limited information about the origin and composition of the used extract in the final product formulation. Thus, a clearer label of the products containing recovered compounds would enable nutritionists and/or pharmacists to be more confident when recommending these products.
In addition, developing an industrial “open innovation” effort is of high priority and should be considered in the case of food waste recovery projects. At this case, all participants (university, industry, government and private sector) need to take a proactive role. For instance, since the policy of food waste reduction is among the high priorities in the agenda of governmental and supra-governmental bodies around the world, alternative ways out should be provided (e.g. reduced taxes or the establishment of a new label) in order to reveal the potentiality of recovering high added-value ingredients from food by-products and reutilizing them inside food chain. This label could be relevant to organic foods or similar to carbon emission labels or ecological footprint labels.
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