Redistribution of surplus bread particles into the food supply chain

Manuel Gómez*, Mario M. Martinez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review


Baked goods are at the top of the food waste categories that most negatively contribute to the environmental footprint. Fortunately, the distribution scheme of bread favors opportunities for redistribution pathways that are not always viable for mixed waste or microbiologically contaminated fractions. This review approaches the redistribution of surplus bread back into the food supply chain as food ingredient. Firstly, safety risks and existing regulations challenging the use of surplus bread as food ingredient are highlighted. Secondly, this review emphasizes the functionality of surplus bread flour as edible particles and its suitability as substrate for food biotechnological applications. According to previous studies performed on fresh bread, most surplus bread streams generated at production and retail stages should possess a relatively low risk of microbiological and chemical hazards. However, mycotoxin studies on surplus bread streams are needed. During baking, gluten denatures, and starch gelatinizes, resulting in surplus bread flour with cold thickening and water retention capacity, enhanced accessibility for enzymatic amylolysis, but unable to develop a gluten network. Thus, surplus bread particles possess distinct molecular, supramolecular, and microstructural structure that influence their successful incorporation into semisolid foods or their suitability as substrate for food biotechnological applications (e.g., sourdough, alcoholic drinks).

Original languageEnglish
Article number114281
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Circular economy
  • Flour
  • Food waste
  • Reuse
  • Stale bread


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