Upcycling food: A SUSTAINABLE practice focused on innovation and nutrition value

How Biorigin yeast extracts contribute to the Upcycling Food trend

Adopting more sustainable practices in everyday life is urgently needed. People have become increasingly aware of their role in reducing the impacts of climate change and, consequently, demand that the brands they consume take action to protect our planet and its finite resources.

According to the Mintel Sustainability Barometer 2022 report on a survey of the purchasing behaviors and preferences of people in 16 countries, including Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, UK, and USA, the primary environmental concerns of global consumers are climate change (46%), air quality (36%) and plastic pollution (33%).

In the survey, 68% of consumers around the world said that doing things that benefit the environment makes them feel happy, and the top sustainable behaviors are recycling packaging (59%), meal planning to avoid food waste (53%), and reducing clothes buying (50%).

One particular trend has drawn our attention: upcycling, also known as creative reuse. Upcycling gives a new purpose to materials and food that would otherwise be discarded, seeking to reduce the amount of waste produced and the need to exploit the environment.

That practice is not new and can be considered a form of recycling. However, it goes beyond that, as it promotes the development of new reutilization habits and sustainable practices by people and companies relative to the consumption of raw materials.

That concept can and should be applied to avoid waste and promote healthier food consumption.


Upcycling has also influenced the food industry to take innovative actions to add benefits and nutritional value to foods, that is, upcycling food actions. It should be noted that the consumption of upcycled food is safe for humans and can be used in pet food and livestock feed production.

A recent survey revealed that 74% of global companies are investing in developing sustainable products, and 69% of food and beverage companies plan to launch products with sustainable origin claims.

And not only companies are paying attention to those trends: 35% of global consumers search for natural ingredients when purchasing food and drinks, as reported in the Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer and Voice of the Industry Sustainability Surveys 2023.

On a daily basis, you can creatively use peels, pulps, seeds, leaves, stems, and other parts of fruits and vegetables in existing recipes or create new, delicious bread, cake, jam and jelly, snack, broth, juice, and tea recipes.


Upcycling involves giving a new purpose to materials and food that would otherwise be discarded, and, of course, this trend benefits the environment, people, and animals, such as:

  • Reducing the amount of waste discarded in garbage dumps and nature;
  • Minimizing the use of raw materials for the production of new products;
  • Reducing the extraction of natural resources, such as oil, wood, ores;
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Optimizing the consumption of energy resources, such as water, electricity, and others;
  • Valuing materials that can be reused;
  • Consuming more nutritious foods required for human and animal health.

Again, it should be pointed out that companies are aware of the need to adopt sustainable practices as they have understood their benefits to our planet. According to Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer and Voice of the Industry Sustainability Surveys 2023, 84% of companies consider climate change very or extremely important for their business.

Organizations are already implementing these actions: 74% of global companies invest in developing sustainable products, and 42% of food and beverage companies plan to launch products with carbon reduction claims.

As companies that constantly invest in technologies to reduce the impacts generated in their operations, Zilor and Biorigin emphasize that the commitment to respecting the environment and people is present in all their businesses, caring for their employees and generating value for the stakeholders. To learn more about those companies’ practices, see the Annual Sustainability Report with 2022/2023 harvest-year highlights, including business themes and environmental, social, and governance aspects encompassing climate change and innovation.


Considering the importance of increasingly engaging in sustainable actions and trends, such as Food Upcycling, Biorigin developed three recipes to present its products at the Food Ingredients Europe annual event:

  • Upcycled Apple Peel Bliss:

Reduced-sugar apple peel cake, which includes Bionis YE HN 12 to enhance the fruit flavor;

  • Tangy Apple Relish:

Sweet and sour apple relish that enhances the flavor of meat dishes. Its recipe contains Bionis YE HN 12;

  • NutriBean Revive Bites:

Leftover black beans gain a second life in this nutritious dumpling, which uses Bionis YE MX, BioProtein, and Goldcell LIS XP products. Those ingredients provide Umami and proteins, balance the recipe aromas, and add a clean label to the product!

The three formulas were designed to make full use of food: the apple relish and the apple peel cake are two examples of recipes to utilize overripen fruit and peels that would commonly be discarded!

The black bean dumpling was created using black beans frozen for a long time or left over from the Sunday lunch.

Our yeast extracts were added to all recipes to show the event visitors the benefits and innovations of our products.

Biorigin’s yeast extracts are derived from sugarcane and are intended to enhance and add specific flavor notes to different foods while maintaining our commitment to reducing environmental impacts.


The annual Food Ingredients Europe event will be held in Frankfurt, Germany, from November 28 to 30.

For over 35 years, the event has aimed to gather the world’s leading food and drink suppliers and buyers to showcase a diverse range of new ingredients and innovative services.

Biorigin has confirmed its presence at Food Ingredients Europe, and you can find us at stand 3.1L182. If you prefer, you can schedule a meeting with our team to learn more about our yeast extract, products, and applications for your organization. Just click here!