A by-product is essentially a secondary product that is produced from the wastes that are derived from a company’s manufacturing processes. They are not the company’s main product, but they have several advantages and disadvantages.
The main advantages of creating by-products are increased revenue, a decrease in pollution, and increase in overall reputation. By products allow you to produce different kinds of products, which will give you a greater market and increased revenues. They also aide in the prevention of pollution on the environment, because you are reducing wastes by creating them. And because you’re a friend to the environment, your company’s reputation will increase as a result.
The disadvantages of by-products are increased costs and possible spoilage. There are several advantages in creating by-products, but with any new product created, comes additional costs. Some additional costs might be new equipment, additional raw materials, additional staff, and storage costs. You will just need to weigh these costs against additional income to see if it’s really worth it to make the by-products or sell the wastes off to another company. Another disadvantage is possible spoilage of your by-products. You need to make sure your new by-product is in high demand, because you can have these products in your inventory, not selling/producing any, and then face spoilage, which at this time your wastes will only be good for compost.
Now that we have reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of by-products, let’s take a look at how by-products are actually manufactured and handled within a business.
To illustrate by-product processing, let’s assume that you run a company that manufactures various apple flavored drinks and your manufacturing process is experiencing vast amounts of apple wastes. So what do you do with this waste? Well one way is to turn into useful by-products. Let’s take a look at the possible apple waste you may have and the by-products that can be made from it.
Apple peels-Apple peels don’t seem like they would have much of a use, but in fact they are very useful in creating by-products. Apple peels are widely used in medicines and teas due to their potent antioxidant properties. They have been found to have a very potent antioxidant activity that can even inhibit the growth of cancer cells and help prevent chronic diseases. I guess this just supports the saying that “an apple a day will keep the doctor away”.
Apple cores-Apple cores surely don’t seem like they would have a purpose, but they can be very useful in creating compost. The compost process uses the natural processes of rotting and decay to break down the waste. This by-product has a very uptrend market and can bring in quite an income stream for your business.
Bruised or imperfect apples-Companies operate using a quality standard, so with these quality standards, I would assume that bruised or imperfect apples are casted out as waste. But instead of casting them out why not make new products lines, such as applesauce and fruit leathers. You can even sell these types of apples to cosmetic companies. Cosmetic companies are always in need of a water soluble yellow colorant for their products and apples have a natural yellow pigment called POP (Phloridzine oxidation product), which is used in both food and cosmetics.
As you can see, everything in one single apple can be recycled back into useful products. Many companies today offer several types of by-products that they have created from the wastes of their main products and by reusing their wastes they are contributing to an overall cleaner and better environment.
Food navigator.com (2004). Antioxidant Activity in Apples to Drive Processed Applications.
BeverageDaily.com (2006). Cider By-products Provides Natural Alternative to Tartrazine.