Circular Economy in Food Systems

About Solution

Plant protection is an important and integral part of an agricultural production system. Plant pests and diseases can cause yield-losses on farms, ranging from 25–40%. On the other hand, excessive use of chemical pesticides has caused detrimental effects on the environment and rendered agricultural production system uneconomical. Even some unintended detrimental-effects of chemical pesticide-use, such as resistance in several phytopathogenic microorganisms, death of natural enemies, damage to human health and agricultural-product and environmental-contaminations have become pronounced. Due to the harmful impacts of chemical-pesticides, and international pressure by trading partners such as the EU has prompted us to develop an alternative pest control method. In view of the problem statement in above, our innovation is in the form of a product biopesticide produced through Solid-State-Fermentation (SSF) process which utilizes organic food waste materials as substrate. Technically speaking the SSF process is best defined as “the growth of microorganisms on moist solid-materials in the absence” (or near absence) “of free-flowing water”. Use of kitchen food wastes and Solid-State Fermentation (SSF) technology offers an alternative to Bio-Pesticide production with advantages over conventional Sub-merged Fermentation systems, through reduced production cost, low energy consumption, low-production of residual water and high stability-products.

The application of SSF technology in the production of biopesticides yields other bio-products that include: enzymes, organic acids, bio-fertilizers, bio-surfactants, aroma compounds, animal feed, pigments, vitamins, probiotics, etc. Thus, the bioconversion of organic food wastes into valuable bio-products could substitute non-renewable materials and transform chemical-processes into cleaner practices in the agricultural sector. The targeted range of domestic food waste contains high lignocellulosic materials that are easily exploited to aid sporulation and therefore the production of Bt Biopesticide. In generality the food waste stream will include oily foods, water, as well as spoiled and leftover foods from kitchen wastes and markets. These substances are chemically comprised of starch, cellulose, protein, fats, lipids, and other organic matter. Domestic food wastes such as waste pap sludge, bread, waste cakes, cafeteria waste, fruits, vegetables and potato peel wastes are also a suitable substrate for biopesticide production. As SSF valorizes organic food waste, it leads to the reduction of operational and production costs, contributing towards the product’s lower price point being achieved. Solid state fermentation yields higher biomolecules concentrations making further additional downstream processes simpler than in SmF. Since the cost of biological-substrates represents 30%–40% of total-biopesticide-production-costs, the valorization of food-waste as a substrate reduces its ultimate-market-price.



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