North America is the largest food waste generator compared to any other continent in the world. At the same time 42 million Americans face food insecurity. Fruits and vegetables along with roots and tubers are the major contributors to this non-consumed food waste, of which ~65-80% waste occurs during production and processing. Food waste is the second largest component going to landfills generating methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and making landfills the third largest source of methane in the United States. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) recommends redirecting food waste from landfills with emphasis on reusing waste through feed production, industrial use, and composting. Currently, surplus food and waste streams in the food industry are widely being used as animal feed followed by ethanol production or energy generation, yet compostable organic matter continues to represent the largest category of waste in landfills. Surplus food and waste streams can also be repurposed into food products, high-value functional components recovered using environmentally friendly methods, and biodegradable plastics. If this is achieved complete utilization of the food waste is possible. This seminar will present the case of partial lipid extraction of herbs, integrated corn-soy biorefinery and cranberry pomace.
Speakers: Jasreen K. Sekhon, Drexel University