East Midlands food and drink companies are being invited to discover ways of transforming waste into energy.

The Food and Drink iNet is staging an event on June 19th which will turn the spotlight on innovative ways of dealing with waste products created during food and drink processing.

It will focus on how to reduce the cost of waste removal, how to match one company’s waste with another firm’s desire to use it, and good waste management.

It will also reveal details of a project being supported by the Food and Drink iNet which is aiming to harness the energy from food production waste using microbial fuel cell technology.

The technology has already been proved to work with dairy effluent, but now Lindhurst Engineering, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, researchers at The University of Nottingham, and dairy products co-operative Arla Foods are working together to see if the system could also be used on food waste.

The team will be looking for volunteer companies to help trial the idea when they showcase the project at the Food and Drink iNet event on June 19th at Hothorpe Hall, Theddingworth, near Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

“Waste removal is a challenge in the food and drink industry,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall. “As consumer demand for sustainable products and processes increases, companies must strive to gain the competitive edge in waste management.

“Businesses usually associate waste with additional cost and resources, but there are ways of reducing this.”

Also taking part in the event, which runs from 8.30am to 11am, will be representatives from the University of Northampton’s Centre for Wastes Management and the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP), which matches companies producing waste to those who may have a commercial use for it.

Small or medium-sized food or drink companies that would like to attend the event on June 19th, which is free, should call 0115 9758810 to book or email enquiries@foodanddrinkforum.co.uk

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), The Food and Drink iNet co-ordinates innovation support for businesses, universities and individuals working in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands.

It has developed an effective network to encourage the collaboration of academic expertise and knowledge, and local food and drink business innovation needs.

It aims to build on the tradition of innovation in the food and drink industry in the region by helping to create opportunities to develop knowledge and skills, and to help research, develop and implement new products, markets, services and processes.

The Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Nottingham Trent University, The University of Lincoln, and The University of Nottingham. It is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with advisors covering the East Midlands region.

For more information visit www.foodanddrink-inet.org.uk

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