Denmark to repurpose unsold bread as pasta

Denmark to repurpose unsold bread as pasta
Your next packet of pasta? A new Danish government scheme could give unsold supermarket bread a second chance. File photo: Kristian Djurhuus/Ritzau Scanpix
Bread left on supermarket shelves could still find its way on to consumers’ plates after being repackaged as pasta or breadcrumbs under a new government-backed project.

The project, announced by the Danish Agricultural Agency on Friday, aims to make businesses more sustainable and cut food wasteage, the agency, which comes under the ministry for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, said in a statement.

It is also supported by the Ministry of the Environment’s Green Development and Demonstration Programme (Grønt Udviklings- og Demonstrationsprogram, GUDP), which is providing funding of around 3 million kroner.

Unsold bread will be sorted into types by a specially-developed machine, scanned for mould and bacteria and then turned into crumbs.

This will allow it to be repurposed as pasta, crackers, muesli bars or similar products.

“It’s a good Danish food tradition to use old bread to make new food. We are now trying to use new technology to transfer this school of thought to a larger scale,” project leader Henrik Ottesen said in the statement.

Production companies, the consumer sector and NGO Stop Wasting Food (Stop Spild af Mad) are also participants in the project.

A selected number of Coop supermarkets are to take part in a test project for collection and processing of the bread.

Up to 90 percent of collected bread could be used for other purposes, Ottesen said.

“That’s why it makes sense from a sustainability point of view to transport the bread for recycling,” he said.

Initial testing with the newly-developed technology and participating supermarkets is expected to begin early next year.

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