Technological watch

Upcycling Food By?products: Characteristics and Applications of Nanocellulose

Rising global food prices and the increasing prevalence of food insecurity highlight the imprudence of food waste and the inefficiencies of the current food system. Upcycling food by?products holds significant potential for mitigating food loss and waste within the food supply chain. Food by?products can be utilized to extract nanocellulose, a material that has obtained substantial attention recently due to its renewability, biocompatibility, bioavailability, and a multitude of remarkable properties. Cellulose nanomaterials have been the subject of extensive research and have shown promise across a wide array of applications, including the food industry. Notably, nanocellulose possesses unique attributes such as a surface area, aspect ratio, rheological behavior, water absorption capabilities, crystallinity, surface modification, as well as low possibilities of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity. These qualities make nanocellulose suitable for diverse applications spanning the realms of food production, biomedicine, packaging, and beyond. This review aims to provide an overview of the outcomes and potential applications of cellulose nanomaterials derived from food by?products. Nanocellulose can be produced through both top?down and bottom?up approaches, yielding various types of nanocellulose. Each of these variants possesses distinctive characteristics that have the potential to significantly enhance multiple sectors within the commercial market.

Publication date: 21/01/2024



This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.