Power Knot Teams with NOCHI to Foster Sustainable Food Waste Management with Budding Chefs

December 4, 2019

Faculty at the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) has introduced the Power Knot LFC® biodigester as part of its curriculum focus on reducing food waste.


Power Knot, the market leader in products that process waste food in commercial foodservice operations, is introducing an aspiring generation of chefs to the benefits of sustainable waste food disposal through its partnership with the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI). To embrace a low-carbon future, NOCHI students now have a Power Knot LFC biodigester capable of processing all waste food onsite, and thereby diverting it from the landfill where it would contribute to greenhouse gases.

NOCHI’s five-story, 90,000 sq. ft. facility is a unique combination of old construction dating back to the 1920s and newer construction from the 2000s, all of which was renovated for NOCHI’s unique operations as a culinary school. The state-of-the-art facilities include teaching kitchens, a dining lab, a sensory testing lab, production kitchen, and classroom spaces. NOCHI has the capacity to serve up to 500 students per year across various programs and hosts thousands at events and in the NOCHI Café.

“As a culinary school, we aim to be at the forefront of both innovation and sustainability, and we are excited to provide our students with exposure to a waste food digester throughout their training,” said NOCHI Executive Director Leah Sarris. “The foodservice industry is notorious for creating food waste, which is typically collected with trash and sent to landfills. Power Knot has provided a great opportunity for us to start a very important dialogue with our students about the importance of managing both waste in general and food waste in particular. The digester has proven to be a wonderful resource as we train the next generation of culinary talent and innovation.”

The LFC biodigester ensures NOCHI students have access to the latest kitchen equipment. It processes on average roughly 200 pounds of waste daily. This volume of organic waste in a landfill would generate harmful methane (a greenhouse gas with 84 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide). Since its installation, the LFC biodigester has processed over 8 tons of food waste, representing a reduction in emissions of 34 tonnes of CO2e.

As part of its commitment to minimizing waste, NOCHI is orchestrating a waste study in all departments across the school. “Our goal is to find areas where waste is occurring, streamline procurement, and create recipes to reduce waste whenever possible. We are always aligning our classes to cross-promote usage between different programs,” said Sarris. “We moved the Baking & Pastry Arts breads class to align with the Culinary Arts class that focuses on sandwich-making so the Culinary Arts students can utilize the bread that is being made in-house. We are also working to align our private events and catering programs with class production to reduce waste of products made in class. Additionally, we are focusing on increased utilization of our rooftop gardens to grow herbs that will reduce packaging waste associated with purchasing from a vendor.”

“We are delighted to partner with NOCHI and play a part in developing sustainable waste management practices for future chefs,” said Iain Milnes, president of Power Knot. “In addition to quietly and safely disposing of food waste, the LFC biodigester will help NOCHI’s students understand their waste volumes, design dishes that minimize waste, and even control the supply side by helping to optimize ordering patterns.”

How the Power Knot LFC biodigester works

The LFC biodigester is a practical alternative to the traditional disposal of waste food. It uses a series of processes in which micro¬organisms break down biodegradable material in the presence of oxygen. The LFC environment accelerates the digestion of most food products within 24 hours by using a proprietary mixture of microbes and enzymes. The output is grey water that is environmentally safe, and suitable for discharge down the drain or to enrich landscapes. Almost all waste food from an industrial kitchen, including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, cheese, bread, rice, and noodles can go into the LFC biodigester, and the machine can compost both raw and cooked foods. The process is totally green because it uses no chemicals.

About Power Knot

Power Knot LLC markets the LFC® biodigester and SBT™ bin tipper for use in commercial kitchens and foodservice operations that demand hygiene and durability. The LFC biodigester digests waste food and reduces the expense, inconvenience, mess, and carbon footprint of disposing of waste food that would otherwise be hauled to a landfill. With installations globally, Power Knot offers the most technologically advanced machines available today and is the market leader, offering seven biodigester models that process from 25 kg (50 lb) to 1200 kg (2600 lb) of waste food per day. Power Knot designs, develops, and manufactures its products in Silicon Valley, California. For more information, visit https://www.powerknot.com.