November 26, 2015

26/11/2015: Preventing bread waste - A national success story from Turkey

by Professor M Hikmet Boyacioglu, Chairman of the Department of Food Engineering at Okan University, Istanbul, Turkey

First published in Milling and Grain, August 2015

One-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year. Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial agricultural production down to final household consumption. Food losses represent a waste of resources used in production such as land, water, energy and inputs, increasing the green gas emissions in vain.

According to Euromonitor International, globally 141 million tons of baked goods are sold each year and bread represents by far the most significant proportion of total baked goods sales, at over 85 percent, with retail volume sales of 120 million tons in 2013 which results in inevitable waste. Since there is no clear definition of food waste, it is difficult to estimate global bread waste although there is the need to minimise bread waste at all points along the chain.

Food loss, food waste and food wastage
Food loss refers to a decrease in mass (dry matter) or nutritional value (quality) of food that was originally intended for human consumption. These losses are mainly caused by inefficiencies in the food supply chains, such as poor infrastructure and logistics, lack of technology, insufficient skills, knowledge and management capacity of supply chain actors, and lack of access to markets.

In addition, natural disasters play a role. Food waste refers to food appropriate for human consumption being discarded, whether or not after it is kept beyond its expiry date or left to spoil. Often this is because food has spoiled but it can be for other reasons such as oversupply due to markets, or individual consumer shopping/eating habits. Food wastage refers to any food lost by deterioration or waste. Thus, the term “wastage” encompasses both food loss and food waste.
Read the full article in Milling and Grain HERE.  

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