Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Almost 50% of fruits and vegetables in the EU is not consumed

Date:
October 3, 2012
Source:
Ghent University
Summary:
Almost 50% of fruits and vegetables in the EU is not consumed. The main losses are connected to the production of fresh produce. 20% of the fresh produce is lost due to among others: accidental damage during threshing or fruit picking, damage by insects, mechanical damage and/or spillage during harvest operation and crops sorted out post-harvest following quality requirements by supermarkets and other companies. The lack of tuning between supply and demand is another reason for losses.

Rotting apples.
Credit: nickos / Fotolia

Almost 50% of fruits and vegetables in the EU is not consumed. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the main losses are connected to the production of fresh produce. 20% of the fresh produce is lost due to among others: accidental damage during threshing or fruit picking, damage by insects, mechanical damage and/or spillage during harvest operation and crops sorted out post-harvest following quality requirements by supermarkets and other companies. The lack of tuning between supply and demand is another reason for losses.

Related Articles


During postharvest handling and processing 5,5% of the fresh produce gets lost, by for example bad storage conditions, juice production, or during process interruptions and accidental spillage. In the distribution chain and supermarkets another 7,5% is being lost due to degradation and expiring 'best-before-dates'. Not all losses are irreversible because a lot of effort has increasingly been put in the valorization of these products. In fermentation installations unmerchantable fresh produce can be transformed into energy. Slightly damaged fresh produce can also be used to make derived products as jam, soup,…

Finally, 13% of what is initially produced gets lost due to consumers behavior by throwing away still edible fruits and vegetables, or by wasting due to storing the fresh produce too long or at a wrong temperature.

Scientists try to reduce losses

Within the European Project Veg-i-Trade, scientists of Ghent University and Wageningen University try to reduce the losses within the fruits and vegetables chain. This, by developing statistical models to predict the degradation and the safety of fresh produce. These models can be used to improve the planning and logistics of food processors, transporters and supermarkets. By adapting for instance the size of the produced batches of food, the amount of stock and the storage conditions for example; less food will be lost.

Tips for consumers

Also the consumer can help to reduce the losses. Some tips: by eating seasonally fresh produce will not have to be transported for a long distance, so it can be stored longer. A weekly leftover day helps to reduce the leftovers, and buying and cooking not more than necessary will obviously reduce losses.

Veg-i-Trade

This research is part of the European project 'Veg-i-Trade'. Since May 2010, 23 international partners are investigating viruses, bacteria such as E. coli., mycotoxins, and pesticide residues on fresh produce. Veg-i-Trade studies the possible impact of globalization and climate change on the food safety of fresh produce. The project is being coordinated by the Department Food Safety and Food Quality of Ghent University (Belgium) and has partners from universities, research institutes, SMEs to large industrial partners in 10 different countries.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ghent University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ghent University. "Almost 50% of fruits and vegetables in the EU is not consumed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082732.htm>.
Ghent University. (2012, October 3). Almost 50% of fruits and vegetables in the EU is not consumed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082732.htm
Ghent University. "Almost 50% of fruits and vegetables in the EU is not consumed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082732.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can Bitcoin Survive 2015?

Can Bitcoin Survive 2015?

Newsy (Dec. 22, 2014) Bitcoin's stock has tumbled significantly this year, but more companies now accept it, leading supporters and critics alike to weigh in on its future. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) As falling oil prices boost Americans' spending power, the U.S. government is also gaining flexibility from savings on oil. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins