Agri-food waste reduction and utilization–A sustainability perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the human population edges closer to nine billion, we must explore how we can sustainably use Earth’s limited resources. Current agricultural production and food processing create significant amounts of waste that have drastic
effects on the environment, on the cost of production, and on human health and well-being. About a third of these wastes are produced domestically, as well as from agricultural production and food processing, and it often constitutes a disposal problem, although it contains many carbon-based materials (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, micronutrients, bioactive compounds, and dietary fibers) that can be converted into useful value-added products. Converting these wastes into useful products is important because of the impact it has on the environment, including energy consumption, water usage, and the amount of carbon it releases when discarded. The long-term goal is to ensure that all materials from agri-food production and processing are turned into valuable products based on the principle of upcycling and circular bioeconomies. This short review presents succinct information on where food and agricultural wastes and by-products are generated, it summarizes recent advances in waste reduction and value-added utilization, including the need for behavioral changes and improvements in food labeling, and it presents innovations, limitations, and future prospects for circular food systems that focus on the total conversion of food and agricultural wastes to value-added products
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)471-479
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 8 2022


  • Agri-food waste,
  • Value-added
  • Upcycling
  • Sustainability
  • Food residue
  • Food by-product
  • Circular economy


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