Food additives are substances that are purposefully added to foods for technical, sensory, and nutritional reasons, such as to extend shelf life, or to sweeten and stabilize them. According to Euromonitor, about 47% of global consumers prefer natural products, and 55% of respondents look for natural characteristics when buying products. In the world, the current food trend is moving away from processed food to more natural foods with fewer additives and natural flavors. EU countries like France also make it their political agenda to produce and consume more natural foods with fewer additives.
The topic of sustainability becomes more and more discussed among a variety of companies and consumers who are concerned about the well-being of the environment and self-wellbeing. With the recently increased activities of humanity, new challenges and problems arose. For example, shortage of farmland and water. The industrial growth made it more challenging for producers of natural raw materials (farmers) to produce and supply food ingredients due to increased consumption rates of food. As a result of increased food production, not all food is being consumed and food waste is created.
Since 03 July 2021, most single-use plastic products have been banned in the EU. This includes plastic straws, stir sticks, balloon sticks or disposable tableware made of conventional and bioplastic. To go cups and disposable containers made of styrofoam are also affected by the ban. The EU decision is intended to benefit the environment and protect the oceans. On the one hand, plastic products are often made from crude oil, a finite and fossil material mixture, and on the other hand, the resulting plastic waste is often not disposed of properly and thus ends up in the environment, where it hardly or only very slowly decomposes.
Fermentation is not a new nutrition trend. People have been fermenting food to make it last longer for about 10,000 years. Since back then, there were no possibilities of food cooling, like they exist today, people came up with something else to make the products longer edible. In fermentation, organic substances are converted microbially or enzymatically into acid, gases and alcohol.
About 78 million tons of oranges are produced worldwide. In Europe, most oranges come from Italy, Spain and Greece. During food production of juice or jams, enormous quantities of orange peels remain and are disposed of. In Italy alone, about 1 million tons of citrus peels are disposed of each year.
Worldwide, about 3 million tons of olives are produced annually. The main producer and exporter of olive oil is the European Union, with Spain, Italy and Greece leading the way. The olives are pressed into oil or sold pickled as a delicacy - often pitted. When olives are processed, a large amount of pits remain. For the former worthless by-product, there are now some innovative ideas and possibilities to process it. Thus, existing resources are reused and others are saved at the same time. Passing on and using natural raw materials contributes to a sustainable circular economy.
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