A boost for efficient, safe food production
A lot of natural resources – such as water, minerals in fertilisers, soil, and energy – go into crop cultivation and food processing to deliver the fruit and vegetables we eat. But this supply chain is very inefficient. The RESFOOD project brought together research and industry partners to demonstrate ways the vegetable and fruit chain could recover valuable nutrients for reuse, reduce water use by 30-70%, achieve energy savings of 20-80%, and cut waste without any reduction in food quality and safety.
The RESFOOD project has developed techniques to cultivate crops using recycled water and nutrients, and an industrial washer that dramatically reduces the amount of water needed to clean fresh-cut vegetables and fruit. The project is also testing greener chemicals for disinfecting vegetables, processes to retrieve valuable nutrients from food waste, and a prototype device to detect food pathogens in less than two hours. These advances add up to big savings for producers and manufacturers, increase competitiveness, and benefit the environment.