Food Wastes: Feedstock for Value-Added Products: 5th Edition

A special issue of Fermentation (ISSN 2311-5637). This special issue belongs to the section "Fermentation for Food and Beverages".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 June 2024 | Viewed by 1587

Special Issue Editor

Biotechnology Laboratory, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Interests: biochemical engineering; fermentation biotechnology; bioreactor design; valorization of agro-industrial wastes and food wastes for biofuels; kinetic modeling; halogenated hydrocarbons degradation; mass transfer phenomena; hydrolytic enzymes (purification, characterization); bio-scouring of cotton fabrics; growth of microalgae
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food waste (FW) is a global problem that has received increasing public and political attention in recent years. This problem will only become more significant in the coming years, especially considering the increase in food demand due to the growing global population. Food is a precious commodity, and its production can be resource-intensive. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), food loss (FL) is defined as “the decrease in quantity or quality of food”. Food waste is part of food loss and refers to the discarding or alternative (non-food) use of food that is safe and nutritious for human consumption along the entire food supply chain, from primary production to end-household consumer level. The European Project FUSIONS defines FW as “any food, and inedible parts of food, removed from (lost to or diverted from) the food supply chain to be recovered or disposed of (including composted, crops plowed in/not harvested, anaerobic digestion, bio-energy production, co-generation, incineration, disposal to sewer, landfill or discarded to sea)”. According to the FAO, nearly 1.3 billion tons of food products per year are lost along the food supply chain, and in the next 25 years, the amount of food waste is projected to increase exponentially.

Currently, most food wastes are recycled, mainly as animal feed and compost. The remaining quantities are incinerated and disposed of in landfills, causing serious emissions of methane (CH4), which is 23-times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) as a greenhouse gas and significantly contributes to climate change. The social impacts of FL and FW may be ascribed with ethical and moral dimensions within the general concept of global food security. Economic impacts are due to the costs related to food wastage and their effects on farmers and consumer incomes.

The EU waste framework directive 2008/98/EC defines the EU waste management hierarchy as follows: (a) prevention, (b) preparing for reuse, (c) recycling, (d) other recovery (e.g., energy recovery), and (e) disposal. Similarly, the Environmental Protection Agency defines the following hierarchy in relation to FW management: (a) source reduction; (b) feeding hungry people; (c) feeding animals; (d) industrial uses; and (e) composting, incineration, or landfilling.

Preventing the overproduction and oversupply of food is the first step to be taken in reducing FW generation. FW is rich in a spectrum of organic components including carbohydrates, proteins, oils and fats, and organic acids. FW can be converted into a spectrum of bio-commodity chemicals and bioenergy by employing bioprocesses. The implementation of the biorefinery concept could be an essential part of the successful valorization of FW. Producing a spectrum of bio-based products, FW biorefinery can complement fossil-based refinery to a certain extent and address the major drivers for the bioeconomy, namely climate, resource security, and ecosystem services.

In continuation, this Special Issue compiles both recent innovative research results as well as review papers on food waste valorization for the production of value-added products.

Dr. Diomi Mamma
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fermentation is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • food waste
  • circular economy
  • value-added products
  • bioeconomy
  • biorefinery
  • integrated bioprocesses
  • bioenergy
  • bio-hydrogen
  • biomethane
  • biohythane
  • biobased products
  • platform chemicals
  • biofuels
  • bioethanol
  • butanol
  • bio-diesel
  • microbial fuel cell (MFC)
  • enzymes
  • biopolymers
  • organic acids

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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31 pages, 2046 KiB  
Obtaining Value from Wine Wastes: Paving the Way for Sustainable Development
Fermentation 2024, 10(1), 24; - 28 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1185
Winemaking is one of the main Portuguese industries and has significantly grown in recent years, thus increasing the quantity of obtained residues. These wastes have a complex chemical composition and structure, and, for this reason, their treatment and valorisation are simultaneously a challenge [...] Read more.
Winemaking is one of the main Portuguese industries and has significantly grown in recent years, thus increasing the quantity of obtained residues. These wastes have a complex chemical composition and structure, and, for this reason, their treatment and valorisation are simultaneously a challenge and an opportunity. After an overview of the wine industry and its wastes, this article intends to review the different solid winemaking wastes, highlighting their chemical composition and structural characteristics, as well as their main potential applications. These wastes, such as grape stalks, can be directly applied as a source of bioenergy in the form of pellets or subjected to chemical/biological processing, resulting in valuable food additives, materials, or chemicals. Grape seeds provide food grade oil with potential biomedical applications. Grape skins are a promising source of biologically active substances. The sugar fraction of grape pomace can be biologically converted to a wide variety of bioproducts, like bioethanol, biogas, polyhydroxyalkanoates, and bacterial cellulose. The integration of the different processes into a biorefinery is also discussed, considering the characteristics of the Portuguese wine industry and pointing out solutions to valorise their wastes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Wastes: Feedstock for Value-Added Products: 5th Edition)
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