Sustainable foods with less power consumption, less raw material use, and less waste

Thursday 19 Dec 19


Mohammad Amin Mohammadifar
Head of Research Group, Associate Professor
National Food Institute
+45 45 25 49 22
To make it possible to feed the growing world population, rethinking the food industry’s production processes is imperative. The National Food Institute helps the industry make the processes more efficient and sustainable.

By applying mathematical models, new production technologies, and ‘out-of-the-box thinking’, the National Food Institute finds new ways to produce healthy, safe, and sustainable foods of the highest quality with a minimal power consumption, less raw material use, and less waste.

Maths is an essential ingredient

One of the researchers’ essential tools is mathematical modelling, which they apply to understand the influence that production parameters such as temperature, humidity, and equipment have on the taste and safety of foods. With the models, they are able to predict e.g. how changes in temperature and cooking time can ensure a juicier piece of meat which does not contain any disease-causing microorganisms.

"The ambition is for the National Food Institute to design foods with specific functional and nutritional properties that take the consumers’ different needs into account, based on age, sex, health, activity level, and food preferences."
Associate Professor and Head of Research Group Amin Mohammadifar

The researchers at the Institute also develop prediction models, which can e.g. replace the time-consuming manual inspection that fish manufacturers use to decide for which purposes fish is best suited.

From worthless to valuable

Recycling the industry’s residual products is essential in a sustainable food production. Therefore, several projects at the National Food Institute focus on how low-value side streams can become a source of income.

The researchers have e.g., developed a process line where mussels that are too small to be sold as food for human consumption instead become chicken feed without having to undergo an expensive and energy-intensive boiling process. 

Read more

Read more about the National Food Institute’s research in the area of food technology in an article from the National Food Institute’s 60th anniversary publication: Sustainable foods with less power consumption, less raw material use, and less waste.

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 food, The waste from seafood to become the sustainable foods of the future and Less water from sea or field to plate.

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