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Modular recovery and processing food waste for optimal nutritional value

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2016-33610-25487
Agency Tracking Number: 2016-00719
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.3
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-07-31
Small Business Information
715 FLORIDA AVE S STE 406A, Minneapolis, MN, 55426-0000
DUNS: 780821195
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Leslie Russick
 Project Director
 (612) 810-6982
Business Contact
 Leslie Russick
Title: Project Director
Phone: (612) 810-6982
Research Institution
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA Deputy Administrator Stan Meilburg recently announced (9/16/15) the first ever national food waste reduction goal, callling for a reduction of 50% by 2030."The United States enjoys the most productive and abundant supply on earth but too much of the food goes to waste" says Tom Vilsack."By reducing wasted food in landfills, we cut harmful methane emissions that fuel climate change, conserve our natural resources, and protect our planet for future generations" says EPA Administrator Gina McCarty.Food waste is the single largest component of solid waste in US landfills. The EPA estimates this amounts to 34 million tons with an extimated cost of $1.3 billion (Schwab, 2013). While there are multiple efforts to reduce and recycle food waste, only 3% is recycled (EPA, 2012). These food wastes are lost at multiple levels of the food supply and consumption chain.Therefore, it is clear that food waste is an increasing concern.The EPA has published the Food Waste Hierarchy (EPA 2012) that identifies best practices for managing food waste. After source reduction and reuse feeding hungry people, the highest recycling priority is converting food waste to animal feed. This is ahead of industrial recycling options such as anaerobic digestion, composting, and ahead of landfills.Feed is the largest single cost item for livestock and poultry production, accounting for 60% to 70% of the total cost in many years (Naylor, 2005). The demand for feed corn has been impacted by the use of corn for ethanol raising the cost of feed for livestock producers and adding to the volatility of prices.Our proposal will prove the feasibilty of diverting food waste to animal feed. This will offer hog producers a viable nutritionally beneficial alternative to corn and soybean meal.Our mobile modular food waste processor (MMFWP) is a patent pending vessel that collects food waste from food waste generators. The food wastecollected and contained in the MMFWP tank is delivered to a central location, the tank with the food waste still contained within is unloaded from the vehicle, and the tank hooked up to a heat transfer unit. Through a thermal process, the food waste is dehydrated to a level of 12% or less eliminating the potential for pathogen regrowth and allowing for a shelf life.In this thermal process, the pathogens are killed while not degrading the nutritional content of the food waste.The patent pending MMFWP has been built as a prototype and successfully operated.The goal of the proposal in Phase 1 is:1) To validate to hog producers that converting food waste to animal feed with the technology applied by the MMFWP has equivalent if not superior nutritional benefits compared to soybean meal and corn. This is critical to the business model by ensuring an outlet for the animal feed. 2) To validate that this nutritional benefit is indeed digestible by swine even after the thermal processing. Again necessary to give confidence to hog producers that the output has been proven to be an acceptable source of animal feed. This then supports the economics of the business model dependent on the feed market for the sale of the output.3) To establish the bench mark price of the output. Pricing the output is critical to building a viable commercial operation.For this proposal, arrangements have been made to collect food waste from three generators and process the food waste utilizing the MMFWP:1) Fish distributor/processor (fish waste)2) Produce distributor/processor (fruitand vegetable waste)3) Grocery store (mixed food wastes). A good representation of the heterogenity of food waste expected from generators such as restaurants andcafeterias. It will be a broad mix of waste from the deli (both hot & cold), butcher department, fruits and vegetables, bakery and dairy.The proposal includes critical research performed by the the University of Minneaota Department of Animal Science under the direction of Dr. Gerald Shurson and D

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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