Mill Celebrates Standards Group Approval of Upcycled Kitchen Scraps As New Animal Feed Ingredient

Last week, Mill, a company that makes a kitchen scrap upcycling appliance, announced that a standards group had voted to approve a new ingredient feed definition, effectively giving a thumbs up to the output produced by the Mill appliance.

According to the announcement, the ingredient definition committee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) had unanimously approved a new animal feed ingredient definition for Dried Recovered Household Food. The approval follows a recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this year.

This is good news for Mill, which pitches its hardware and service as a way to put calories destined for landfill back into the food system through what it calls food grounds. The way Mill’s service works is the food grounds – the heated, dried-up material resulting from processing within the Mill kitchen bin – are sent back to Mill, which then turns it into chicken feed. Now, with the leading animal feed standards group giving this feed ingredient category an official thumb’s up, Mill might have just helped pioneer a new upcycling pathway for standard household food waste to make its way into animal feed.

For Mill, the news follows the recent opening of its new facility in Mukilteo, Washington, its first dedicated facility for processing food grounds into chicken feed. While the choice of a Seattle suburb might be a bit surprising for a northern California startup like Mill, it makes sense when you consider the company’s first municipal partner for its Mill service is the city of Tacoma, which is working with Mill to pilot a service which offers Mill bins and the processing service to Tacoma city residents for a monthly fee.

According to the company, while this is a significant milestone in general for this emerging category of food scraps upcycling, there are a few i’s to dot and t’s to cross.

Although the new definition still needs to clear two procedural votes later this year before its expected inclusion in the AAFCO Official Publication (OP) in January 2024, the committee vote and FDA recommendation were the most rigorous regulatory reviews required and demonstrate significant confidence in and momentum around the definition. 

With this news, I’ll be interested in watching if other consumer food waste recycling product companies attempt animal feed as a new potential service opportunity. Mill is the first company to offer an associated service with a home food scraps bin and likely has filed patents around the entire bin and service concept, but there probably will be some space for others to produce products here.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.

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