Valorization of wastewater from food industry: moving to a circular bioeconomy

Carolina F. F. A. Costa, Catarina L. Amorim*, Anouk F. Duque, Maria A. M. Reis, Paula M. L. Castro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Wastewater from the food industry is increasingly recognized as a valuable source of energy and as a resource for new products and not as waste. The reutilization and valorization of wastewater contributes to combating water scarcity and to improve the energetic efficiency of treatment facilities. Moreover, it has the added benefit of reducing environmental impact and providing economically interesting added value products. This review discusses the most recent approaches for the valorization of food industry wastewaters of different origins (dairy, brewery, oil mill, fish, meat, among others) and the products obtained, from energetic resources such as biogas and biofuel to the recovery of biopolymers, pigments, phenolic compounds, and other added value products. A critical overview regarding the bottlenecks of large-scale implementation of resource recovery strategies, including up-scaling, quality and quantity of the effluent, legislation, and economic, environmental, and social issues related to the use of products derived from waste, is herein presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-295
Number of pages27
JournalReviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Added value products
  • Circular economy
  • Food industry
  • Food wastewater
  • Valorization
  • Wastewater


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