Giving food waste a new life | Expo Floor

By converting food waste into usable materials, Kwaliflex is making food production more sustainable. The company repurposes a wide variety of unsaleable foods and beverages, like soda, beer and wine, the first 100 liter-batch from a sauce production line, breads and pizzas past their sell-by date. Kwaliflex turns these products into cattle feed, material for anaerobic digestion, or a source of carbon for water treatment companies. Several premium brands have started using Kwaliflex’s services.

Based at a modern unpacking and anaerobic digestion plant in Wanroij, the Netherlands, Kwaliflex transports, unpacks and processes rejected food products. Plant machinery removes glass, plastics, aluminum, metal and paper packaging, using a different processing lines for each type of packaging. These materials are separated and stored for recycling. The foodstuffs are processed into one of three products: cattle feed, electricity (by means of anaerobic digestion) or ‘Kwalidrink’, a source of carbon for microorganisms in fermentation processes. Kwaliflex guarantees the food products are not remarketed as food products anywhere in the world.

Carbon footprint
Mark van Boxtel, account manager at Kwaliflex, says increasingly strict safety and freshness requirements in the food industry are leading to a growing volume of unsaleable foodstuffs. Kwaliflex’s “reliable and precise technology” for collecting and processing these products are the reason for the company’s success, Van Boxtel adds. “When we collect crates of unsaleable bottled beer, for instance, our machines start by removing all the caps. Then they turn the crates upside down to empty out the beer. Bottle caps and bottles are collected separately and the beer itself is processed into certified animal feed. Our method ensures the feed does not contain any glass shards.”

Kwaliflex helps reduce food waste. “But that’s not all,” says Van Boxtel. “All over Europe, so many trucks drive back empty from deliveries. They could be picking up rejects from factories and transporting them back to us. That would optimize transportation and help to reduce the carbon footprint of many products.”

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