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Coffee Processing By-Products: Legislative Frameworks and Policy Recommendations

By: , Posted on: September 11, 2017

Sustainability is a dynamic process in which long-term environmental, social, and economical requirements should be fulfilled by an integrated way without compromising the capacity of future generations to meet their own needs.

The wastes produced along the coffee chain in both producing and importer countries are undoubtedly a source of contamination and a serious environmental problem. For that reason, several efforts have been made to investigate and develop processes for their valorization and use. Nevertheless, integrated strategies are still necessary always having in mind the sustainability of the coffee chain.

In 2005, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) spread a copy of a document about the potential uses of coffee wastes and by-products that was prepared by a team working on the reformulation of a project entitled “Use of coffee by-products and alternative uses for low-grade coffee” submitted by Costa Rica and approved by the Council in 2003.

The development of a full-scale project was coordinated with the International Center for Science and High Technology – United Nations Industrial Development Organization (ICS-UNIDO). In that document, Rathinavelu and Graziosi summarize several of the different possibilities of coffee wastes/ by-products applications, namely in the production of feed, beverages, vinegar, biogas, caffeine, pectin, pectic enzymes, protein, and compost. This could be seen as a way to inspirit ICO Members and community to give attention to such practices, in addition to publicize the relevant work that was being developed.

Currently, in the European Union, Directive 2008/98/EC on Waste (Waste Framework Directive) is the core legislative act that regulates waste management, strengthening the actions that must be taken in order to prevent wastes and introducing an approach that takes into account the whole life-cycle of products. One of the aims of this Directive was to repeal and replace Directive 2006/12/EC, since key concepts such as the definitions of waste, recovery and disposal needed to be clarified and measures for waste prevention had to be strengthened.

Moreover, the introduction of an approach that takes into account the whole life-cycle of products and not only the waste phase was a very relevant issue. One of the main focuses of the Directive 2008/98/EC is the reduction of the environmental impacts of waste generation and waste management by increasing the waste economic value: the recovery of wastes is encouraged in order to conserve natural resources (Chapter 1).

The general concept of the circular economy which is based on the maintenance of natural resources in the economy as long as possible, while simultaneously their economic value and technical properties are preserved, is highly applicable to the coffee chain. Among other things, a chain of value should involve cross-sector collaborations that create business opportunities for developing innovative products or processes which emerge from the use of resources that were previously considered wastes.

The transition to a circular economy is a great challenge, while the Bio-Bean firm from London is a great example. This company collects spent coffee grounds from coffee shops and convert them into biofuels (e.g. barbecue coals and biomass pellets), being the first company in the world to industrialize this process.

The possibility of selling the pellets back to coffee shops to be used, for instance, on coffee roast, can create a true circular economy: the waste becomes the input power for the production activities that created it. Besides, coffee shops give this firm free-of-charge material (in both directions) instead of paying disposal fees to send spent coffee grounds to landfills.

Nevertheless, although successful attempts have been created, till now, a lot still needs to be performed to recover all the potential that all coffee by-products present. Integrated strategies in which industry, academic institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations are involved together are crucial to transform coffee by-products in really profitable substrates.

About the Book:

Handbook of Coffee Processing By-Products: Sustainable Applications presents alternative and sustainable solutions for these coffee processing by-products and specifies their industrial potential, both as a source for the recovery of bioactive compounds and their reutilization in the pharmaceutical, biotechnological, food, biotechnology, and cosmetic industries as well as in environmental and agronomic applications. This book addresses key topics specific to sustainable management in the coffee industry. Emphasis is placed on integrated solutions for the valorization and upgrade of coffee processing by-products, biorefinery, and different techniques for the separation, extraction, recovery, and formulation of polyphenols.

Key Features

  • Presents alternative and sustainable solutions for these coffee processing by-products
  • Specifies potential for the use of by-products as a source for the recovery of bioactive compounds and their reutilization in the pharmaceutical, biotechnological, food, biotechnology, and cosmetic industries as well as in environmental and agronomic applications
  • Places emphasis on integrated solutions for the valorization and upgrade of coffee processing by-products, biorefinery, and different techniques for the separation, extraction, recovery, and formulation of polyphenols

Readership

Researchers, specialists, chemical engineers and professionals working in the food and coffee processing industry. New product developers in the food and agricultural industry. Graduate and post-graduate students taking courses in agricultural or food engineering, food waste management, and/or valorization and sustainability.

charis galanakis

About the author:

Charis M. Galanakis is an interdisciplinary scientist with a fast-expanding work that balances between food and environment, industry, and academia. His research targets mainly the separation and recovery of functional macro- and micromolecules from different food by-products, as well as their implementation as additives in food and other products. He is the research and innovation director of Galanakis Laboratories (Chania, Greece) and the coordinator of Food Waste Recovery Group of ISEKI Food Association (Vienna, Austria). He serves as an editorial board member and subject editor of Food and Bioproducts Processing and Food Research International, and he has edited 6 books from Academic Press: Food Waste Recovery: Processing Technologies and Industrial Techniques (2015), Innovation Strategies in the Food Industry: Tools for implementation (2016) and Nutraceutical and Functional Food Components: Effects of Innovative Processing Techniques (2017), Olive Mill Waste: Recent advances for the Sustainable Management (2017), Handbook of Grape Processing By-Products: Sustainable Solutions (2017) and Handbook of Coffee Processing By-Products: Sustainable Applications (2017).

See his full portfolio of books here.

Follow Dr. Galanakis via Twitter – @CharisGalanakisLinkedIn or ResearchGate.

Join the Food Waste Recovery Group on LinkedIn or the Food Waste Recovery Page on Facebook.

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