Access to timely, affordable, and good quality food is a sine qua non for human existence. Unfortunately, huge volumes of edible foods are wasted or lost along the food value chain thereby impacting food security. Recycling and conversion of food waste ensure the appropriate utilization of the untapped resources in food waste. The current study reviews the biological (landfill, composting, anaerobic digestion, and fermentation) and thermochemical (incineration, pyrolysis, gasification, and hydrothermal carbonization) technologies for the conversion of food waste into clean energy, chemicals, and other utilizable products. The process, products, benefits, and drawbacks of these conversion technologies are also discussed. Commissioning of multidisciplinary and collaborative research is recommended to garner expert perspectives towards achieving cost-effective, ecofriendly, sustainable, and practicable food waste conversion technologies.
Keywords food waste, leftover foods, conversion technologies, clean energy, biofuel