Founded in 2016, Food Recycle are an innovative company focused on building a more sustainable economy. The NSW-based organisation specialises in producing new value-added products from organic food waste. They’ve developed a unique process to recycle commercial food waste into poultry feed, which they've been successfully producing at their large-scale facility since 2019.
In 2020, Food Recycle collaborated with CSIRO Kick-Start to expand their offering into the aquaculture sector.
To improve and expand their business, Food Recycle engaged the CSIRO Kick-Start team to help turn their recycled food waste product into a high-quality feed for the aquaculture industry to meet increasing demand, specifically for farmed barramundi and prawns.
Food Recycle worked with Dr Ha Truong, CSIRO's Agriculture and Food business researcher to conduct a series of trials at the specialised aquaculture research facility at Bribie Island in Queensland.
The project aimed to assess the nutritional digestibility and quality of the aquaculture feed in the diets of barramundi and prawn, while monitoring the growth and nutritional health of both species.
"Food waste is an overwhelming issue in Australia, but Food Recycle is part of the solution to divert food waste back into food production. The CSIRO Kick-Start program enables scientist to engage with SMEs who have a shared vision in improving the sustainability of food production in Australia. In this case, we validated the use of food waste in aquaculture has benefits for the sustainability of aquaculture production, all while minimising food waste," Dr Truong explained.
The results of this CSIRO Kick-Start project had two key findings. Firstly, the trials confirmed the viability of using a significant amount of food waste to produce commercial aquaculture feed. Secondly, it identified and validated specific food waste streams suitable for producing aquafeed for barramundi and prawns.
This valuable data has empowered Food Recycle, providing a solid foundation for using food waste to produce high-quality aquaculture feed for other species of fish and crustaceans.
Since completing the Kick-Start program, Food Recycle has licensed OzHarvest Ventures under a Technology and Know-How License to establish food waste-to-animal feed production facilities across Australia and New Zealand. The Australian market alone has a demand for around 30 production facilities, capable of producing up to 900,000 tonnes of feed per year. This initiative could prevent up to 1.8 million tonnes of commercial food waste from landfill each year.
Food Recycle International Ltd is in discussion with more than 20 countries for the adoption of their technology and has so far entered into a Technology and Know-How Licensing Agreement with one country for 10 production facilities over seven years at a value of $254 million to Australia.
Norm Boyle, CEO of Food Recycle, expressed his gratitude, saying, "I would like to thank the CSIRO scientists and technicians and the CSIRO Kick-Start program for their incredible, hard work on this project. As a business we know that we can make aquaculture feed, but this research will allow us to maximise the benefits from food waste and produce the best possible aquaculture feed that we can. The outcomes of this Kick-Start project will assist the company greatly in its commercialisation endeavours."
Further information on the prawn feed portion of the Food Recycle CSIRO Kick-Start program can be found below. Here, we hear from Norm Boyle, as well as Dr Ha Truong and other members of the CSIRO Agriculture and Food research team.