There is increasing awareness of the quantities of food that are lost every year across the globe; while the quality of available data varies, estimates suggest the total is around 1.3 billion tons. These losses occur at all stages of production, from pre-harvest on the farm through to post-harvest losses during processing, distribution, retailing and consumption. By far the largest proportion of this material is generated at the point of consumption, in the home or in cafeterias, canteens and restaurants. The method of choice to treat food waste is anaerobic digestion which is now undertaken commercially at a large scale. It is most widespread in the UK, where there are currently 94 digesters producing over 220 MWe of power from food processing residues, supermarket wastes and curbside collected source-separated domestic food waste. These processes are efficient, with as much as 85% of the degradable material being turned into biogas, The Task 37 brochure outlines case studies from eleven countries, namely; Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Check out the new IEA Task 37 Technical Report on Food Waste Digestion which was co-authored by the SCCER BIOSWEET Partner Urs Baier.