What happens to unsold bread?

In many rich countries, an abundance of food means that vast quantities of edible food end up in the trash. Bread and pastries are among the most frequently thrown away. You can read about the reasons for this in this blog post here: Why is so much bread thrown away?

But what happens to all the bread and baked goods that are not sold? You will find the answer in today’s post.

So: What happens to unsold bread?Wohin kommt unverkauftes Brot?

One way for many bakeries and supermarkets is to pass on the left over goods to third parties such as charitable organizations. The challenges here, however, are on the one hand the legal framework, which must be complied with and is also associated with a large time investment, and on the other hand the responsibility for ensuring food safety, which must be borne by the bakeries and supermarkets.

These same challenges often lead many bakeries to use their own left over bread as an ingredient in new recipes. Typically, unsold bread is either dried, mashed or made into bread syrup.

Leftover bread and pastries are just as often processed into animal feed. Depending on the size of the farm selling the surplus, the buyers are either regional farmers or commercial feed producers. Due to uncertain data, the amount of bread used for animal feed production cannot be accurately calculated.

Another option (and the last one mentioned here) for disposing bread and baked goods that are not sold is to throw them in the trash or to have recycling companies disposing them in biogas plants. “Unlike the sale of surplus baked goods to farmers or commercial feed manufacturers, bakery companies incur costs for energy disposal through recyclers, depending on various factors such as the quantities collected or the distance between bakery operations and biogas plants.” [1]

Thus, it can be said that unsold bread and pastries can be used and further processed in various ways. However, the reused goods often make up only a small part. The majority ends up in the garbage.

What contribution you can make yourself in the household, so that you do not have to throw away your own bread, you can find out in this post: Ideas for leftover bread




[1] https://www.wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/Publikationen-PDF/WWF-Studie-Unser-taeglich-Brot_Von-ueberschuessigen-Brotkanten-und-wachsenden-Brotbergen_102018.pdf, S. 21

This was: What happens to unsold bread?

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