A new research program launched by The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre will investigate the transformation of food waste into valuable products.
Fight Food Waste Centre Chief Executive Officer Steve Lapidge said the Transform program will improve the Australian food industry’s competitiveness, productivity and sustainability.
“Dr Paul Luckman will lead a national program to transform food waste into valuable products – we have 46 industry partners and 10 research partners from across the country, with a total of $121 million being invested over 10 years,” Dr Lapidge said.
“We are working to deliver new sources of revenue and market growth for food companies, with less waste ending up in landfill and more food donated to feed hungry Australians.”
Lead researcher Paul Luckman said 42 per cent of food produced in Australia is wasted – at an annual cost of $20 billion.
“The Transform program aims to identify and prioritise valuable products from waste streams and find the technology gaps and process limitations in transforming that waste,” Dr Luckman said.
“We’re already looking at a wide range of projects, from turning food waste into supplements to fuelling sustainable wastewater treatment with food waste.”
Dr Luckman said the program is expected to save 87 gigalitres of water via recovery and reuse, reduce food waste by 30 million tonnes and save 44 million tonnes of greenhouse gas.
According to Dr Luckman the program will also create 5200 jobs in rural areas and save $600 million in waste produce and waste-handling costs.
The Fight Food Waste centre has been allocated funding through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s CRC Program until 2028.
The program is hosted by The University of Queensland’s Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation.