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Scientists' network launched to find new uses for food waste

Scientists at York University hope to find strategies for using food waste to provide new feedstocks.

York University’s Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence launched the Biowaste Industrial Symbiosis Network (BIS) at a technology fair in California.

The project aims to realise the value of food supply-chain waste as an alternative carbon source for bio-chemicals, bio-materials and bio-fuels.

The network, run by PhD student Lucie Pfaltzgraff, involves engineers, chemists, biotechnologists and food technologists from academia and industry. The project was awarded a European Co-operation in Science and Technology grant.

Professor James Clark, director of Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, said: “We want to bring about a critical mass of researchers and stakeholders to harness the potential of food supply chain waste as an alternative carbon source to produce commercially viable chemical commodities.

“As well as harnessing skills and expertise that cross scientific borders, covering biology, chemistry, biotechnology and food science and technology, the network will include experts in environmental and economic assessment. The EU support we are receiving is an acknowledgement that food supply chain waste is an important area of scientific study that has potential to change significantly the way we live.”

The BIS Network includes members in China, UK, Spain, France, Greece, Finland, Cyprus, Vietnam, Italy, Germany and Brazil, and is already seeking new members from industry, academia and NGOs.

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