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Valorising food by-products

This book provides a very comprehensive overview of the wide field of food waste valorisation, breaking the subject down into many different food waste types, their composition and options for valorisation based on both currently available technology and future projections. The result is a very useful go-to resource for anyone in the field for information and further reading.

There is some degree of inconsistency to the chapters, with some feedstocks receiving very in-depth treatment and others being little more than an overview of potential, however this is to be expected given the fact that some food supply chain wastes have received much more attention than others. This also means that the technical detail varies from chapter to chapter, which may not be an issue for more well-versed readers, but newcomers to the area (e.g. first year PhDs) may well struggle to use the book as a stand-alone resource without other background reading.

Conversely, more established readers may find the level of detail provided to be somewhat basic and are unlikely to gain any further insights into the feedstocks that they are already familiar with. However, due to the wide scope of feedstocks covered, it is almost certain to be able to offer insight into other areas of the field, even for some of the most experienced readers. What is less good about the consistency, however, is that whilst some chapters are broken down into much smaller sections with many diagrams and figures to make points easy to visualise, others have very long sections of text interspersed with few figures making for somewhat laborious reading in places.

A far more positive note is that the book has been well proof-read and the writing style is clear throughout. The points made are easy to understand, even if, as previously stated, some less-experienced readers may need to do some background reading on some of the technical aspects first.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of food waste valorisation, with many techniques, such as anaerobic digestion and fermentation, being applicable to a range of feedstocks, it is also somewhat inevitable that some treatment techniques are covered multiple times across different chapters. For readers going through from start to finish this may appear somewhat repetitive, however each time a technique is covered, the details are provided in context to the relevant feedstock. For readers focusing on chapters specific to their feedstocks of interest, this approach is also useful to provide instant clarity and to avoid having to ‘back-and-forth’ between chapters.

Overall, the book is well written and provides very comprehensive and in-depth coverage of a broad field. Whilst it may be let down by inconsistency between chapters, it is important to note that some of this is necessitated by the varying levels of attention different feedstocks have received to date. It is therefore likely to be a useful reference point either for newcomers to the field to get started or to provide useful insights to more established readers perhaps looking to expand their knowledge of the field to more unfamiliar feedstocks.

This book provides a very comprehensive overview of the wide field of food waste valorisation.

Reviewer Dr T. Dugmore

Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, University of York


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