No Food Waste? Really?

Huel prides itself on having no food waste, but I have a question about this regardings the following ingredients:

  • Pea protein
  • Rice protein
  • MCT from coconut

What happens to the rest of the pea, rice and coconut?
Because the protein and fat are being extracted from these natural foods, that leaves a significant part of each whole food unused.

Does it get wasted?
Does it get used for other food products?

If it gets used for other food products, that fine; but it does mean that the Huel model is not able to be scaled up to the entire global population. I know it’s not likely to happen, but it means that if everyone on Earth were to consume 100% Huel, there would still be food waste in the form of the unused parts of the pea, rice and coconut.

Or am I missing something? Please correct me if if I’ve misunderstood this.

I am not familiar with the process of extracting pea/rice protein or MCT but I am sure that if it is not used any other way then any waste product can be used to fertilize crops so what ever part of the plant isn’t used is completely recycled. I also remember reading an article about a way to convert plant waste into hydrogen fuel (Fuel of the Future).

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I think they are several stages at which food gets wasted:

  • during havesting
  • during transporting (to factory, retailer, end user)
  • during processing
  • by the end user

Huel really helps cut down waste by the end user, at my home we often throw items away from the fridge as they go out of date quickly.

Huel will also cut down waste during transporting because it’s not a perishable food stuff, unless fruit, vegetables, etc.

Yes they could be some waste during processing but as @Will said it will probably before used for other purposes.


It seems likely that Huel is sharply reducing the overall food waste by removing transporting and end-user waste. Huel should get credit for this, even if it dosn’t eliminate processing waste, because we must not let the great become the enemy of the good.

However, perhaps @Julian could look into the processing and provide some more details on it. Given that Huel does market on reducing waste, the customers should be able to view the data on this argument.

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Yes we will look into the processing end of things.

Our perspective was “remove food waste in the home/kitchen and during transport”, but yes there are other parts we should consider.


Any more info on this after two years? I had the same question.

My thoughts on this…

if we assume that there is an element of pure waste (the unused part of the plant may well already get re-used for animal feed, fertiliser, something biochem, already, but it would probably currently be difficult to track that)

Should production reach a point whereby the unused elements are significant/troublesome, it would be prudent for either the producers, or processors, of the pea etc to identify and develop additional uses within existing and new markets for this “waste product”.

That’s not to say that this will definitely happen, as a lot of industries do tend to keep on with the status quo rather than continually looking to evolve and improve.

depending on what is left over by the processes there should already be directly applicable uses such as fertiliser, petrochemical, biochem etc, which should drive greater profits and improved operating costs/returns for the whole supply chain.

one would also hope that the “waste” or “by-product” of the processes result in organic waste, which would at the very least not have the same sort of issues as artificial, chemical, or plastics waste, i.e. landfill.