Food waste as a source of value-added chemicals and materials: a biorefinery perspective

J. Esteban, M. Ladero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


As the availability of fossil-based resources declines, there is an impending necessity of finding alternative feedstock able to secure the production of fuels and chemicals. Exploitation of biomass as renewable source of chemicals is an attractive possibility, in particular the one derived from food waste (FW). Every year, large amounts of waste are generated within or at the end of the food supply chain at the consumers use stage and hence its valorisation attracts great attention. FW has proven a valuable feedstock for its exploitation to produce a wide array of intermediates and products with promising applications in industry, owing to their similar performance with respect to established products. These include organic acids and furans (generally used as platform chemicals to further products); polymers like bacterial cellulose, polyhydroxyalkanoates or chitin; biosurfactants; biolubricants; or nanoparticles. This overview covers the latest trends in chemical, enzymatic and biotechnological processes reported in literature on the production of these chemicals and materials, with a focus on the use of FW as raw material. © 2018 Institute of Food Science and Technology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1108
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Food Science and Technology
Issue number5
Early online date3 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Biolubricants
  • biopolymers
  • biorefinery
  • biosurfactants
  • chemicals
  • food waste
  • nanoparticles
  • Bioconversion
  • Biomolecules
  • Biopolymers
  • Chemicals
  • Feedstocks
  • Food supply
  • Indicators (chemical)
  • Nanoparticles
  • Organic chemicals
  • Refining
  • Supply chains
  • Surface active agents
  • Alternative feedstocks
  • Bio-surfactants
  • Biorefineries
  • Biotechnological process
  • Food waste
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates
  • Value-added chemicals
  • Chemical contamination
  • Food
  • Materials
  • Production
  • Products
  • Wastes


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