The agrifood industry is one of the productive sectors with the greatest impact on the environment. This is so either because of their production processes or the different products launched to the market. The most relevant environmental aspects that cauterize the food industry are the consumption of water and energy, the generation of wastewater and the production of organic by-products.

Therefore, it is important to have strategies for a cleaner production in the food industry using different points of view:

1. Development of ingredients and sustainable products that allows for a cleaner production in addition to meeting consumer needs.

2. Change in agrifood technological processes or in the processing industry mainly geared to a decrease in water and energy consumption.

3. Reasseesment of organic products.


The agrifood industry generates a large amount of by-products during processing. 60-65% of these by-products become waste and consequently pose an economical and environmental cost problem. Apart from the traditional alternatives of subproduct recycling (energy by incineration, animal feeding, agricultural fertilizers), by-products may be potential sources of substances with high added value due to their tecnological, nutritional, and functional properties (dietary fibers, organic acids, proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, etc.) are useful for the manufacturing of high added value products.

1. Characterization of compounds of high value-added in by-products of plant and animal origin.

  • Screening of by-products (according to the extraction yield, economic aspects, market opportunities and content of bioactive compounds).
  • Analytical Identification of substances with high added value.
Industry By-products Compounds with high added value Examples
Meat products (slaughters) Blood, guts, bones, intestines, skin, fat, hair, feathers

Compounds with functional properties (Bioactive Compounds) (Compuestos Bioactivos)

  • natural antioxidants
  • fibre
  • essential oils
Fishing Blood, head, guts, tails, skin, bones, shells
Vegetable Leaves, seeds, skins, stems, pulp, vegetable scrape

Compounds with technological functionality (food additives)

  • Sensory
  • Foams
  • Gellants
  • Emulsifiers
  • Colorants
Dairy Lactoserum
Oleaginous Plants, seeds, leaves, marc, rubber, soaps
Sugar Pulp, molasses, yeast Compoundds with nutritional properties
  • carbohydrates
  • proteins
  • lipids
  • vitamins
Alcoholic beverages Fermentation residues

2. Obtainment and development of substances and products with high added value.

  • Extraction systems for compounds with high added value using the by-products generated by the sector as raw material.
  • Use of the substances obtained in combination with other ingredients for obtaining ingredients or addititives to obtain functional foods.
  • Application and optimization of enzymes and new food technologies to improve the profitability of the process.

3. Assessment studies.