Havvand. Foto: Colourbox.dk

Less water from sea or field to plate

Tuesday 17 Dec 19


Lisbeth Truelstrup Hansen
Professor, Head of Research Group
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 62 78
A food product’s journey from sea or field to plate requires water. Industrial food production can utilize water in a more sustainable way by using less potable water and discharging less waste water. The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, can help the industry achieve this.

The National Food Institute’s research can help to reduce both the water consumption and the environmental impact associated with a food business’ production of e.g. a pizza, right from the dough to the cheese.

Dairies can e.g. reuse water from the whey that is left over from the production of cheese as cleaning water, and producers of chicken feet more efficiently without compromising on food safety.

"The ambition is that we will be able to use purified seawater in the production of food in the future."
Professor and Head of Research Group Lisbeth Truelstrup Hansen

As a rule, and according to legislation, food businesses must use drinking water in their production of foods, including for cleaning in connection with the production. However, they can use other types of water as long as the water does not compromise on food safety.

Read more

Read more about the National Food Institute’s research into recycling of water in the production of food in an article from the National Food Institute’s 60th anniversary publication: Less water from sea or field to plate.

The National Food Institute is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, as it was decided on June 5, 1959 to establish a national food institute in Denmark.

You can also read the articles: At the forefront of healthy, safe and sustainable foods and The waste from seafood to become the sustainable foods of the future.

The National Food Institute creates sustainable technological solutions

Studies suggest that the food consumption accounts for approximately 25% of the total climate impact per person. Reducing the climate and environmental impact of our diet requires new and gentler production methods that emit less CO2. In addition, the consumers must change the composition of their diet.

The vision of the National Food Institute is to make a difference by creating sustainable technological solutions – e.g. to ensure that raw materials are better utilized in order to avoid production waste and to utilize the production processes more efficiently, and to make it easier for consumers to choose sustainable, high-quality foods.

For example, the work of the Institute focuses on how food companies can recycle water safely, optimize food production and save on energy and CO2, and better utilize residual products from the production of food and feed in order to develop high-value products. Furthermore, mathematical calculations of the climate impact of foods is a new focus area within the Institute’s nutritional research.


Image: National Food Institute