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Friday, 17 April 2020 09:27

ceiA3 researchers develop a methodology to evaluate waste and determine the most appropriate recovery routes

"BIOSAHE | TEP-169" is a research group from the University of Córdoba attached to ceiA3. They develop a methodology to evaluate food waste and determine the most appropriate recovery routes

More than a third of food produced ends up being wasted. This situation creates environmental, ethical and economic problems that also affect food security. The negative effects of waste management, such as bad odours or the emission of greenhouse gases, make the bioeconomy one of the best options for reducing the problem.

Research in bioeconomics and search for strategies to recover waste, such as agricultural by- products, is the study field of the research group attached to ceiA3 "BIOSAHE (Biofuels and Energy Saving Systems) | TEP-169" of Cordoba University, led by the professor and researcher of ceiA3 Pilar Dorado, which now goes one step further: they try to establish the best routes to recover food that is wasted in restaurants. Of the possible lives of restaurant leftovers, they look for which is the most efficient and which provides them with the most value.

Along these lines, ceiA3 researcher Miguel Carmona, together with the rest of the BIOSAHE group, Javier Sáez, Sara Pinzi, Pilar Dorado and Isabel López García have developed a methodology to evaluate leftovers and choose the best route for their recovery.

After analysing the leftovers from restaurants of different categories and specialities, their main chemical components were characterised, which were starches, proteins, lipids and fibres. The aim of this process is to know which compounds and in what quantity the waste contains in order to relate it to the best processing option.

In this way, the possible lives of restaurant leftovers can range from becoming biodiesel, electricity or bioplastics. Specifically, the project led by Pilar Dorado is developing a biorefinery that, like oil refineries, generates biofuels, bioplastics, biolubricants, high value-added fine chemicals, electricity or heat from restaurant leftovers.          
Carmona-Cabello, M., García, I.L., Sáez-Bastante, J., Pinzi, S., Koutinas, A.A., Dorado, M.P. (2020) Food waste from restaurant sector – Characterization for biorefinery approach, Bioresource
Technology, Vol. 31, 122779, ISSN 0960-8524. DOI:

Resource: UCC+i from Cordoba University

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