The valorization of available food manufacturing waste with high potential to manufacture value-added products, in line with the main goal of the circular economy, is actually one of the current challenges for scientists.
Membrane-based processes are an emerging tool to improve the currently adopted valorisation protocols of agro-food by-products, within a sustainable biorefinery strategy, with remarkable improvements of the environmental and economical sustainability of the overall approach.
This work aims at providing a critical overview of the on ongoing research studies for the recovery of high value-added compounds from agro-food by-products such as olive mill wastewaters, citrus by-products and wastes from the wine industry by membrane-based operations. In particular, the development of integrated membrane systems on lab-scale unit for the separation, fractionation and concentration of phenolic compounds and their derivatives from these sources will be presented and discussed.
Experimental results clearly indicate that the combination of membrane unit operations in integrated systems offers interesting perspectives in terms of recovery of primary resources, reduction of the environmental impact, formulation of innovative food products and rationalization of conventional food manufacturing processes.