Food processing wastewater has distinctive characteristics. It can be characterized as nontoxic due to the existence of few hazardous and persistent compounds such as those regulated under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) toxic release inventory (TRI) listing. However, the waste-water from food processing industries contains high levels of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) or chemical oxygen demand (COD), large amounts of total suspended solids (TSS), and various inorganic substances such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Another contaminant of food processing waste-water, especially from meat, poultry, and seafood processing facilities, is the pathogenic organism. In general, the constituents of wastes generated are complicated and dependent on different factors such as BOD, COD, pH and temperature variation in effluents, nature of food processing, and so on.
Food processing can be divided into four major sectors: fruit and vegetables; meat, poultry, and seafood; beverage and bottling; and dairy operations.
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