Sustainable strategies for improved regulatory compliance within the food-processing sector

Michael O. Fagbohungbe, Andrew S. Hursthouse, Jan Miller, Graeme Morrison, Mark Stockwell, Iain McLellan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Food producers are challenged to develop and adopt reliable processing techniques to meet environmental regulations for discharge compliance. This is a logistical and technical challenge given that many food companies produce a wide range of commodities resulting in a constantly changing effluent stream. This study investigates the impact of developing, and adopting, more sustainable food processing strategies through development of a Waste Handling Strategy which focuses simultaneously on waste prevention initiatives, opportunity for water re-use and optimisation of wastewater management to develop sustainable treatment processes. The results highlight the significance of different stages of waste generation within the production lines and opportunities for prioritising waste prevention via remanufacturing and redistribution. Food waste prevention practices allowed the diversion of more than 3-6 metric tonnes/d of edible food to a secondary product as animal feed. Water reuse was validated by monitoring at four locations in the site for both physicochemical and bacteriological parameters. Wastewater treatment operations were monitored, and optimisation led to a reduced dependence on caustic buffering by 40%, and 100% substitution of carbon supplementation from in-process sources. Water reuse strategies resulted in 200 – 500 m3/d of water to be repurposed on site to reduce the volume of wastewater discharge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
Number of pages12
JournalWaste and Resource Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2021


  • waste management & disposal
  • sustainability
  • environment


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