Skip to content

R&d Project

Recycling of waste to material

Resource efficient production

Waste management


Minimising food waste through vacuum-drying

8. May 2015

Solution provider

University of Copenhagen

To meet the global challenges of the 21st century, all faculties at the University, including experts in law, economy, health, social, and natural science, are engaged in high quality sustainability research.

More from University of Copenhagen

Want to see this solution first hand?

Add the case to your visit request and let us know that you are interested in visiting Denmark

The project "Waste Taste" addresses how primary fruit, vegetable, and berry producers can use vacuum-drying to avoid or reduce their food waste. This is done by converting the waste into valuable food ingredients and new products via an energy-efficient vacuum-drying technique. The project will investigate the food waste from primary producers, such as the waste from overproduction and odd size products that does not meet retail standards but does not have any microbial or sensory faults.

How does it work?
Vacuum-drying is a gentle process as the drying temperature is lower than usual because of the vacuum. This results in great preservation of both the flavour compounds and the health beneficial substances in the raw product. Vacuum-drying is up to ten times more energy efficient than freeze-drying; hence, it is more cost-effective and more environmentally friendly.

In total, primary producers in the fruit and vegetable production sectors in Denmark waste approximately 110,000 tonnes of edible food a year. They have to pay to burn the food waste. The aim here is to turn this expense into a financial gain, as the food waste, through vacuum-drying, is preserved and value is added. Even though the project is only at a pilot-scale production level, the dried products have already sprouted commercial interest in the food industry.

For more information, please visit the Department of Food Science (FOOD) at the University of Copenhagen.