Thesis subject

Blockchain for food waste management (with (MSc)

Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a network. The application of blockchain technology in different sectors has recently received an increasing attention both in academia and industry. In the area of agri-food, blockchain is seen as particularly promising since through blockchain a large number of complex operations and/or self-interested stakeholders can be connected, monitored and coordinated in a secure, transparent and decentralized manner. One example is food waste traceability which is needed to tackle “food waste management”, “sustainability” and “food security” problems.
To address the food waste traceability problem efficiently, a trusted, efficient and transparent digital system is needed for recording, monitoring, tracking and data exchange. This thesis will investigate the potential of using blockchain to achieve food waste traceability based on an actual case study and data provided by the food waste management company “Wastewatchers”.

Short description

If you ask students graduated on the topic of food waste, local municipalities who have to make food waste policies, institutes like WUR who wants to contribute to a more sustainable world or high political parties like the EU or the UN who try to comply with the Paris Agreement, they will all state that there is a deficit on food waste data. Data in theory shouldn't be the issue, because the majority of food industry and food service parties do have data about their food waste and relevant data about food waste variables. However, the problem is that such data can't be extracted easily or provided to the asking parties. Besides, there's no (financial) incentive for the companies to share their own food waste data.

Wastewatchers helps food service and food industry companies with reducing their food waste with the use of deep tech. With API technology, Wastewatchers connect with the client's POS systems to obtain valuable information about food waste and food waste variables. Two products are offered, an automated food waste management module and a forecast module, which helps companies to optimize supply and demand and making (hopefully) food waste a choice instead of something those companies do every day.

Wastewatchers sees potential in using blockchain technology in addressing the problem of food waste management by:

  1. monetizing data, so companies have an incentive to share their food waste data
  2. setting up a transparent model on which relevant stakeholders and policy making parties can rely
  3. opening up new digital innovation opportunities in food waste management by providing a secure platform to exchange sufficient data among interested stakeholders in a decentralized manner


As this is an exploratory thesis on the use of blockchain technology for food waste traceability, the objectives focus on testing theory in practice and coming up with an analysis regarding the plausibility of such solutions for future research in this direction (e.g., at WUR) or for adoption by industry (e.g., by Wastewatchers). It is therefore important to investigate how those entities should look further into this topic. The thesis can be divided, but not limited to, the following tasks:

  1. Thorough desk research on food waste management, food waste data and blockchain technology
  2. Examine which blockchain technology is most suitable for this problem
  3. If step 2 is positive, investigate the possible blockchain design solutions, and provide a roadmap for both academia and industry, like Wastewatchers, regarding its future use


The work in this thesis entails:

  • To collect and analyse full-text articles or PDFs from SLRs in the food waste management field and blockchain applications to food system in general
  • To assess the solutions available on using blockchain for food waste management or to map similar applications of blockchain to the area of food waste management
  • To provide a system design or a prototype for using blockchain in food waste management
  • To build a SWAT analysis model regarding the adoption of this technology by industry like wastewatchers


In addition to the sources available on google scholar, scopes and other technical reports or white papers, Wastewatchers can assist in providing the right literature concerning food waste. Wastewatchers maintain their own 'library' with relevant literature and theses of BSc and MSc students who graduated at Wastewatchers (10+).


  • Courses: Programming in Python (INF-22306) and Big Data (INF-34306) or Software Engineering (INF-32306)
  • Required skills/knowledge: basic data analytics, interest about blockchain, sustainability and food waste industry

Key words: Blockchain, Food Waste, Sustainability, Explorative research

Contact person(s)
Dr. Tarek Alskaif (
Thomas Luttikhold (