The food industrial sector generates large amounts of waste, which are often used for animal feed, for agriculture or landfilled. However, these wastes have a very reach composition in carbon and other compounds, which make them very attractive for valorization through biotechnological processes. Added value compounds, such as volatile fatty acids (VFAs), can be produced by anaerobic fermentation using pure cultures or mixed microbial cultures and food waste as carbon source. Research on valuable applications for VFAs, such as polyhydroxyalkanoates, bioenergy or biological nutrient removal, towards a circular economy is emerging. This enhances the sustainability and the economic value of food waste. This chapter reviews the various types of food waste used for VFAs production using mixed microbial cultures, the anaerobic processes, involved and the main applications for the produced VFAs. The main parameters affecting VFAs production are also discussed.
Part of the book: Fermentation