Novel Food Waste Recovery and Recycling Solutions


Innovation in this area is teeming currently, especially at UC Davis. The FDA’s food recovery hierarchy stipulates that excess food should first go to feeding hungry people, and if this solution is not available, then using the waste for industry and composting should redirect the food from the landfill. Researchers at UC Davis are developing exciting solutions throughout this chain, from recovering high value nutritional compounds from whey in cheese making to advancing microbial fuel cells that can transform organic wastes into renewable energy.  The current levels of food waste throughout the system demand solutions at every level of the system--this work is vital in adding real value to what has previously been considered waste.


Land Application of Food Processing Waste Streams to Control Agricultural Pests

Biosolarization is a fumigation alternative that controls soil pests through passive solar heating and organic amendment-driven soil microbial activity. This project adapts a variety of fruit, vegetable, and tree nut processing waste streams for use as soil amendments in biosolarization. In addition to inactivating a broad spectrum of agricultural soil pests, biosolarization can help improve soil health and quality through the addition of organic matter and promotion of soil microbiota that enable nutrient cycling. This project seeks to maximize these secondary benefits to further promote grower adoption of biosolarization.


  • de Moura Bell,  J.M.L.N.,  J. L. Cohen, M. Geissler, D. Barile, C.W. Simmons. (2015).  Agricultural Wastes: Characteristics, Types and Management. 978-1-63482-376-0. Current Utilization of Dairy Industry Co-products. Camille N. Foster (editor in chief).

Project Lead