This thesis reports on the research undertaken to increase the sustainability of the management of industrial food waste. The main objective of this research is to develop a systematic framework that can be used by food manufacturers to identify and implement sustainable solutions for food waste management.
The research reported in this thesis is divided into four main parts. The first part reviews the literature on ramifications and issues associated with the generation and management of food waste, available options to tackle issues related to food waste, categorisations of food waste and existing methodologies to support food waste management modelling and decision-making with regard to the management of food waste. The second part introduces a framework to identify types of food waste and link them to their most sustainable food waste management solution. The third part presents a food waste management modelling procedure and identifies attributes needed to model food waste management. The fourth part analyses relationships between attributes and provides information flowcharts and a methodology to support the modelling of food waste management systems.
The applicability and usefulness of the research have been demonstrated through case studies with two UK food manufacturers: a brewery and a meat-alternative manufacturer. Although the framework presented in this thesis aims at improving food manufacturers waste management, it could be easily adapted to be used in other stages of the food supply chain.
In summary, the research reported in this thesis has concluded that food manufacturers generate large amounts of food waste that are managed in a wide range of ways. A systematic framework to analyse types of food being wasted, waste management processes, food manufacturers, waste management processors and sustainability implications of food waste management provides a sound methodology to identify opportunities to improve the management of industrial food waste.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.