Nutrapharma Creates Protein Powder Supplements From Scraps To Fight Food Waste

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U.K.-based Nutrapharma has recently pioneered a food waste solution that involves creating protein powder for saleable supplements from excess fruits and vegetables to lessen carbon emissions produced by scraps and provide a plant-based solution to the protein industry.

Located in the UK, Nutrapharma has developed a way to tackle food waste by making protein-rich powder that can be utilized in supplements from scraps, with the company referring to this as a ‘farm to capsule traceability’.

According to the company, the preliminary samples of these protein powders are comparatively higher in protein than conventional whey protein powders.

Dr. Eric Hilton, Nutrapharma’s chief executive, created this solution by looking at his own surroundings. Based in Lincolnshire, a county in England, Hilton discovered that his area alone produces around one-eighth of the UK’s food, including barley, sugar beets, and cabbages. This led him to take action and utilize the food waste effectively to reduce its effects on the planet.

We carried out some preliminary analysis and have been amazed by the results – some of the samples have a higher protein content than commercially available whey proteins

Dr. Eric Hilton, chief executive at Nutrapharma

Speaking to NutraIngredients, Hilton mentioned that during his research, he was shocked to find how little material was available when it came to food waste innovation.”Finding commercial uses for discarded side streams has the potential to improve resource efficiency and create new high-value products. Yet when I looked into this, I found that nothing was being done about it.”

Initially, he set up a pilot study with some Scottish farmers that was designed to find what are the different ways that discarded fruit and vegetables can be used. The company then used a novel drying process with milling techniques resulting in a ‘palatable powdered concentrate with a high nutritional value’. “We carried out some preliminary analysis and have been amazed by the results – some of the samples have a higher protein content than commercially available whey proteins.”

Additionally, Hilton believes that the product will appeal to conscious consumers, given that it is made out of plant-based substances and contains no harmful toxins. 

To further develop its products and scale them, the company has been awarded a grant from the UK SPRINT with Hilton highlighting that the product will be ready for the market by April.

Source: Khwanchai/Pexels

The nonprofit group, Clean Label Project released a report about toxins in protein powders in 2018 where researchers screened 134 products for 130 types of toxins and found that many conventional protein powders contained heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury and bisphenol-A (BPA, used in making plastic).

According to the World Food Program, approximately US$1 trillion worth of food is lost or wasted every year globally ,  accounting for about one-third of the world’s food, and food waste is estimated to contribute as much as 10% of the world’s carbon emissions.

In November of last year, university students in Hong Kong decided to tackle food waste in their area by launching Breer, a new brand of local craft beer created from upcycled loaves collected from bakery chains and supermarkets in Hong Kong.

Similarly, students from the National Taipei University of Technology, Taiwan launched a new labeling system, Barcodiscount, which involves automatically colour-changing stickers that indicate the percentage discounted off the product as it gets closer to the expiration date in an effort to eventually make it easier for grocers to sell their products, without the items ending up in the landfill. 

To combat the food waste in Hong Kong, a new platform Phenix by OnTheList App has launched in an effort to give Hong Kong residents an opportunity to grab perfectly good food with huge discounts from F&B businesses that would otherwise throw the items in the bin. 

Lead image courtesy of HowToGym/Unsplash.


  • Tanuvi Joe

    Born and bred in India and dedicated to the cause of sustainability, Tanuvi Joe believes in the power of storytelling. Through her travels and conversations with people, she raises awareness and provides her readers with innovative ways to align themselves towards a kinder way of living that does more good than harm to the planet. Tanuvi has a background in Journalism, Tourism, and Sustainability, and in her free time, this plant parent surrounds herself with books and rants away on her blog Ruffling Wings.

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