Upcycling fruit waste into microalgae biotechnology: Perspective views and way forward

Alicia Lee, John Chi Wei Lan, Anet Režek Jambrak, Jo Shu Chang, Jun Wei Lim, Kuan Shiong Khoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Fruit and vegetable wastes are linked to the depletion of natural resources and can pose serious health and environmental risks (e.g. eutrophication, water and soil pollution, and GHG emissions) if improperly managed. Current waste management practices often fail to recover high-value compounds from fruit wastes. Among emerging valorization methods, the utilization of fruit wastes as a feedstock for microalgal biorefineries is a promising approach for achieving net zero waste and sustainable development goals. This is due to the ability of microalgae to efficiently sequester carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, utilize nutrients in wastewater, grow in facilities located on non-arable land, and produce several commercially valuable compounds with applications in food, biofuels, bioplastics, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, pharmaceutics, and various other industries. However, the application of microalgal biotechnology towards upcycling fruit wastes has yet to be implemented on the industrial scale due to several economic, technical, operational, and regulatory challenges. Here, we identify sources of fruit waste along the food supply chain, evaluate current and emerging fruit waste management practices, describe value-added compounds in fruit wastes, and review current methods of microalgal cultivation using fruit wastes as a fermentation medium. We also propose some novel strategies for the practical implementation of industrial microalgal biorefineries for upcycling fruit waste in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100203
JournalFood Chemistry: Molecular Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jul 30

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Molecular Biology


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