Desperdicio alimentario

Substantial economic losses associated with food loss and waste throughout the production chain leading to high resource consumption and environmental impact

Food loss: all food products that for whatever reason remain on the farm or livestock holding. They are either reincorporated into the soil or used for on-site composting and would have been destined for human consumption.

Food waste: food rejected from the food chain which is still perfectly edible and suitable for human consumption and which, in the absence of possible alternative uses, is disposed of as waste.

Between 30% and 50% of the edible food produced in the EU is not consumed. There are 89 million tonnes (179 kilos per inhabitant) of losses and waste generated annually. This does not include agricultural waste generated during production or fish discards dumped at sea. Food waste generates 170 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, accounting for 17% of the EU’s direct greenhouse gas emissions. With 30% of food production going unconsumed, 50% more water resources are used for irrigation.

Spain is the seventh European country that wastes the most food, 7.7 million tonnes a year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment. This leads to high economic costs, loss of resources and an environmental impact throughout the chain.

At AINIA we give you value

  • We develop new technologies and alternatives to prevent food losses and waste throughout the entire food chain.

Food loss and waste (Food Waste)

In the primary sector:
  • Precision farming solutions to assess the ripening stage and to determine the harvesting date
  • Agricultural process automation to improve efficiency in the use of resources: optimisation of irrigation, intelligent dosage of fertilisers and phytosanitary products in accordance with the needs of each plant, use of biofertilisers and biopesticides with a lower environmental impact…
  • Using mobile robotics to harvest fallen fruit and to process it into high-value ingredients.
  • Predictive systems capable of estimating short- and medium-term crop production throughout the growing season.
In processing and distribution companies:
  • The design of healthy and more sustainable foods based on raw materials with a smaller environmental footprint, from local sources, etc.
  • Eco-design of packaging. Replacing virgin materials in packaging with recycled, bio-based, biodegradable, compostable materials, etc.
  • Designing food to extend the shelf life of products and enable them to be recycled or given a second life
  • Upcycling of plant remains for use as food ingredients and their integration into food matrices.
  • Upcycling of plant remains by means of new biomass platforms such as insects, fungi, microorganisms, etc.
  • Utilisation of organic waste and by-products by recovering useful compounds such as proteins, fibres, lipids, bioactive compounds, etc.
  • Packaging inspection to detect and correct any defects that could lead to spoilage
  • Digitalisation of the food chain to detect areas of vulnerability in terms of food losses and waste, and to strengthen collaboration between participants to optimise product use and avoid discards.
  • Assessment of the environmental, economic and social impact of solutions using life cycle analysis tools in order to reduce food losses and waste throughout the food chain.
Solutions to promote a more responsible household usage:
  • Intelligent packaging that provides additional information to the consumer
  • Packaging design according to different lifestyles. Convenience, portions, easy to use for full usage of contents.
  • Smart tools that manage pantries and shopping processes

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Encarna Gomez
Market Director

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