Spoke 02

Smart and circular food system and distribution

To valorize food waste and smart and virtuous logistics

Spoke leaderAntonio Moretti
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Blog postJun 25, 2024

Valuable waste: innovation in the fight against food waste

Blog postJun 4, 2024

The Annual Spoke 02 Meeting in Piacenza on the 25th and 26th of June

Blog postMay 24, 2024

Food Systems research takes center stage in Mantova: highlights from the Food&Science Festival

Blog postMay 12, 2023

Food loss and waste: how green logistics can contribute to reduce them.

Spoke 02 "Smart and circular food system and distribution" aims to improve the sustainability of food systems through circular economy processes for the enhancement of waste to obtain high value-added products and to develop application of intelligent logistics systems of food distribution. 

The research projects under the Spoke 02 focus on improving food system sustainability through two main strategies: i) applying circular economy approaches to enhance the value of food waste and by-products, resulting in high added value products, and ii) developing and implementing smart logistics strategies, digital technologies, and innovative solutions for food distribution, all aimed at enhancing sustainability in the food industry.

OnFoods targets

To promote the sustainability of food production
To increase the adherence to more sustainable dietary patterns
To promote the sustainability of food distribution
To develop smart innovative technologies for a sustainable food production and consumption

SDG’s targeted


Flagship research projects

Research projectSOL-SUSTLOG

New solutions for sustainable logistics in food supply chains

Managed by

Principal investigators

Angela Tumino,

Referred to

Spoke 02
Research projectEXTRABIO

Extraction of bioactive compounds and/or macromolecules from food by-products and wastes

Principal investigators

Sabrina Dallavalle,Angelo Santino,Daniele Pizzichini,Urszula Tylewicz,Andrea Bassani,Arianna Rossetti,Pasquale Ferranti,Fabio Minervini

Referred to

Spoke 02
Research projectFERM_WASTE

Fermentation of agri-food by product/waste to obtain bioactive compounds enriched foods

Managed by

Principal investigators

Angelo Santino,Daniela Bassi

Referred to

Spoke 02
About Spoke 02

Valorizing Food Waste and Smart and Virtuous Logistics

Food quality and safety, natural resources, environmental protection, sustainability of food systems, and economic development are all significantly influenced by food waste.

The FAO estimates that globally, one-third of all food produced, particularly in the fruit, vegetable, and fish sectors, is lost or wasted annually, with a total value of $1 trillion. Therefore, reducing food waste is considered by the United Nations and many international institutions as one of the main ways to protect the environment and promote human well-being.

Recently, numerous scientific reports have been published on limiting food waste and methods of treating waste. These publications include strategies for reducing waste production, valorising co- and by-products, and improving waste and industrial by-product management, considered opportunities. This is mainly due to a growing awareness of environmental issues and the high waste disposal costs that limit the food industry's profits, as well as a growing interest in the benefits of potentially marketable components in food waste and by-products.

WP 2.1

New technologies for food waste recovery

The research activities of WP 2.1 are focused on recovering food waste and by-products using innovative technologies, such as controlled hydrodynamic cavitation and deep eutectic solvents, on extracting bioactive compounds. The new products and processes' safety, market potential, and environmental impact are also evaluated through a comprehensive cradle-to-grave approach.

W.P 2.2

New technologies for food waste reduction

The main focus of the OnFoods Project's Work Package 2.2 is to develop sustainable and innovative technologies that reduce food waste and increase the efficiency of food production and storage. 

The work package includes the development of bio-based active food packaging made of biopolymers and incorporating bioactive compounds, as well as strategies for sanitising fresh food products and using microbial and enzymatic biotechnologies to obtain new foods and added-value compounds. The work package also aims to optimise storage conditions to reduce energy consumption in refrigeration processes and decrease food waste.

W.P 2.3

Digital Technologies for Reducing Food Waste and Enhancing Efficiency

Digital technologies play a critical role in the efforts of WP 2.3 to reduce food waste and improve the efficiency of food production and storage. 

The research conducted under WP 2.3 aims to create sustainable solutions that support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and enhance the food system for all. 

Specifically, the focus is developing tools to control and assess food waste. These digital tools allow for the monitoring and analysis of food waste and by-products throughout the entire food production and distribution process, facilitating more efficient and sustainable use of resources.

W.P 2.4

New solutions for sustainable logistics and distribution in agri-food supply chains

The work package 2.4 is dedicated to finding new and innovative solutions for sustainable logistics and distribution in agri-food supply chains.

These efforts aim to reduce waste, improve sustainability, and create a more circular economy for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.