AbstractFood loss and waste are associated with an unnecessary consumption of natural resources and avoidable greenhouse gas emissions. The United Nations have thus set the reduction of food loss and waste on the political agenda by means of the Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3. The German Federal Government committed itself to this goal by implementing the National Strategy for Food Waste Reduction in 2019. However, this policy approach relies heavily on voluntary action by involved actors and neglects the possible role of power imbalances along the food supply chain. While current research on food loss and waste in industrialised countries predominantly focuses on the consumer level, this study puts emphasis on the under-researched early stages of the food supply chain from the field to retailers’ warehouses. Based on 22 expert interviews with producers, producer organisations and retailers, this article identifies major inter-stage drivers of food loss in the supply chains for fresh fruit and vegetables in Germany. Its main novelty is to demonstrate how market power imbalances and risk shifting between powerful and subordinate actors can reinforce the tendency of food loss on the part of producers further up the supply chain. Results indicate that prevalent institutional settings, such as contractual terms and conditions, trading practices, ordering processes, product specifications, and communication privilege retailers and encourage food loss. The mechanisms in which these imbalances manifest, go beyond the European Commission’s current legislation on Unfair Trading Practices. This study suggests a research agenda that might help to formulate adjusted policy instruments for re-structuring the German fruit and vegetable markets so that less food is wasted.
Carotenoids are characterized by a wide range of health-promoting properties. For example, they support the immune system and wound healing process and protect against UV radiation’s harmful effects. Therefore, they are used in the food industry and cosmetics, animal feed, and pharmaceuticals. The main sources of carotenoids are the edible and non-edible parts of fruit and vegetables. Therefore, the extraction of bioactive substances from the by-products of vegetable and fruit processing can greatly reduce food waste. This article describes the latest methods for the extraction of carotenoids from fruit and vegetable byproducts, such as solvent-free extraction—which avoids the costs and risks associated with the use of petrochemical solvents, reduces the impact on the external environment, and additionally increases the purity of the extract—or green extraction using ultrasound and microwaves, which enables a significant improvement in process efficiency and reduction in extraction time. Another method is supercritical extraction with CO2, an ideal supercritical fluid that is non-toxic, inexpensive, readily available, and easily removable from the product, with a high penetration capacity.
AbstractExcessive discharge of phosphorus into the water bodies is the key factor to cause eutrophication. The fruit and vegetable wastewater contains large amounts of phosphorus, and it may be directly discharged into water bodies, which has a great burden on the municipal sewage pipe network. Therefore, coagulation was used to remove phosphorus, recovered the phosphorus from the wastewater into the precipitate, and then the precipitate was pyrolyzed as an efficient adsorbent for phosphate removal. By comparing the adsorption effects of adsorbents (XT-300, XT-400, and XT-500) with pyrolysis temperatures of 300 °C, 400 °C, and 500 °C on phosphate in actual phosphorus-containing wastewater and simulated phosphorus-containing wastewater at different adsorbent dosage (4 g/L, 7 g/L, and 10 g/L), it was found that XT-300 had the best performance of adsorption, and the adsorption of phosphate was endothermic and obeyed the Langmuir isotherms and Elovich kinetics. The influence of pH, coexisting anions, and the structure of XT-300 revealed that the removal of phosphate was associated with electrostatic attraction, pore filling, but could not be determined whether it was related to surface precipitation. This study provides a way and method for the recovery and utilization of phosphorus in fruit and vegetable wastewater and proves that the synthetic adsorbent was an efficient phosphorus adsorbent. In the long term, we can try to use the adsorbent after phosphorus adsorption to promote plant growth in agricultural systems.
This study is the first to consider, and estimate, the influence of gardening routines on exposures to both health benefits and health risks. This holistic approach helped to contrast the healthy lifestyle of gardening with health risks from exposures to potentially toxic elements such as Cd and Pb in urban environments. A total of 120 participants who grew their own produce in an urban setting were recruited to the study. A detailed questionnaire was developed that included sections on gardening activity, cultivation and consumption of produce, consumption of commercially grown produce, and other lifestyle factors. Administered alongside the questionnaire was the Short Form 36 (v2) as a standardised tool for measuring physical and mental health. Fruit and vegetable consumption was found to be correlated with the amount of gardening individuals did in autumn/winter and was greater than fruit and vegetable consumption, on average, in the UK general population. Levels of physical activity were also found to be higher in our study than regional averages, whilst BMI was lower than average. This is the first study to find a relationship between gardening more regularly (in autumn/winter) and the physical component of the Short Form 36, and this relationship was elevated compared to non-gardening populations. The physical component scores from this study were also significantly higher for older participants, compared to means from a Western population. This finding supports studies suggesting that gardening may be more beneficial for the elderly generation. These benefits were assessed in the context of potential exposures estimated from the type and frequency of produce being consumed. The benefit of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is likely to outweigh the health risks of gardening on soils mildly contaminated with Cd and Pb but requires formal consideration within a risk management framework.
The most important developments in membrane techniques used in the beverage industry are discussed. Particular emphasis is placed on the production of fruit and vegetable juices and nonalcoholic drinks, including beer and wine. This choice was dictated by the observed consumer trends, who increasingly appreciate healthy food and its taste qualities.