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A systematic review of research on food loss and waste prevention and management for the circular economy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Quynh Do Nhu
  • Amar Ramudhin
  • Claudia Colicchia
  • Alessandro Creazza
  • Dong Li
Article number108209
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/09/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Production Economics
Number of pages22
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date18/06/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Circular Economy (CE) aims to retain the maximum value of products and materials for a longer time in a closed-loop manner, thereby decoupling natural resource usage from economic growth. Food waste reduction is one of the top priorities under the recent European Union's CE Package. It also contributes to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 12.3). While food loss and waste (FLW) prevention and management are well-studied in the literature, research in CE is more recent. Through a systematic literature review, this study creates a taxonomy that synthesises the key aspects of FLW under the CE. 297 papers were reviewed and analysed using keyword co-occurrence analysis (KCN) and structural dimension analysis. In KCN, three research themes emerge: impact assessment, biorefinery, and nutrient recycling. Structural dimension analysis reveals the types of research methods, types of FLW flows, FLW prevention and management options with associated opportunities and challenges, and the sustainability impact assessment (SIA) addressed in the literature. A taxonomy is presented and future research directions are highlighted under six research streams: i) FLW supply and quantification, ii) practices and technological aspects, iii) logistics and supply chain management, iv) market demand, v) SIA, and vi) policy and legislation. Combining insights from CE and FLW prevention and management, the taxonomy helps key stakeholders, including industry practitioners to grasp new business opportunities, politicians to set up support strategies and strategic development plans, society to recognise the benefits of waste-oriented bioeconomy, and consumers to raise their awareness and be actively involved in CE.