Effectiveness of the food recovery at the retailing stage under shelf life uncertainty: An application to Italian food chains

Cinzia Muriana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Food losses represent a significant issue affecting food supply chains. The possibility of recovering such products can be seen as an effective way to reduce such a phenomenon, improve supply chain performances and ameliorate the conditions of undernourished people. The topic has been already investigated by a previous paper enforcing the hypothesis of deterministic and constant Shelf Life (SL) of products. However, such a model cannot be properly extended to products affected by uncertainties of the SL as it does not take into account the deterioration costs and loss of profits due to the overcoming of the SL within the cycle time. Thus the present paper presents an extension of the previous one under stochastic conditions of the food quality. Differently from the previous publication, this work represents a general model applicable to all supply chains, especially to those managing fresh products characterized by uncertain SL such as fruits and vegetables. The deterioration costs and loss of profits are included in the model and the optimal time at which to withdraw the products from the shelves as well as the quantities to be shipped at each alternative destination have been determined. A comparison of the proposed model with that reported in the previous publication has been carried out in order to underline the impact of the SL variability on the optimality conditions. The results show that the food recovery strategy in the presence of uncertainty of the food quality is rewarding, even if the optimal profit is lower than that of the deterministic case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015



  • Food donation
  • Food losses recovery
  • Stochastic shelf life
  • Supply chain optimization
  • Waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Medicine(all)

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