Turning Waste Food Fiber Into New Revenue Generating Products

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Problem: In many food ingredient plants throughout the world, byproducts are generated during the processing of the main ingredient. These byproducts are often disposed of as scrap or animal feed, or sold as a lower-grade food ingredient. Manufacturers are interested in looking at any way to either recycle food waste back into the process or to create new value added products to generate additional revenue.

One example of a customer product requirement was:

  • Product Rates: > 16,000 kg/hr
  • Byproduct: food fiber material containing cellulose, carotene, sugar
  • Targeted use: flavorful juice used as an ingredient in mixed vegetable drinks or soups

Operations considerations included:

  • Sanitary, easily cleanable design
  • Easily integrated into an existing process with little available space

Solution: The RP Angle Disintegrator® by Bepex International was used to take vegetable fiber trimmings at a rate of 16,000 kg/hr and grind the material into a variety of different products. By varying the main shaft rpm, everything from a coarse grind to a puree was produced from the Disintegrator. The resulting products were either fed to a Bepex S-Press® for the production of high quality juice. Some of the byproducts were diverted to a Bepex Pulvocron® size reduction system which milled and dried the material into high fiber flour. The resulting flour was sold as a food fiber ingredient for breads, cakes, and cookies as well as additives for soups and drink mixes.

At Bepex’s Process Development Center, the fiber ingredient processes were first developed and optimized for the grinding / pureeing, dewatering and dispersion / drying operations. Following successful testing of the food waste recycling process, small scale production was carried out to provide the customer with samples for feasibility studies and evaluating market feasibility.

Benefits and Results:

  • A drink mix ingredient was economically produced in a simple, two step process
  • A multi-purpose food fiber flour ingredient was produced
  • The food waste recycling process was easily introduced into an existing food plant with minimal floor space requirements
  • Revenue stream and new market customer exposure was created from the recycling of food waste