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Science of The Total Environment
Vol.717, 15 May 2020

Malodorous gases production from food wastes decomposition by indigenous microorganisms

Yuna Zhanga, Zhishu Lianga, Changcheng Tanga, Wen Liaoa, YunYuaGuiying Lia,b, Yan Yanga,b,Taicheng Ana

Received 11 December 2019, Revised 4 February 2020, Accepted 6 February 2020, Available online 8 February 2020.


olatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced during the degradation of food wastes may harm to the health of people and create annoyance in adjacent communities. In this work, the VOCs emitted from the decomposition food wastes including fruit, meat and vegetable, and their microbial communities were measured in three individual 57-L reactors for 61 days. Total of 232.8, 373.5, and 191.1 gkg-1h-1 VOCs with oxygenated VOCs (57.6%), volatile organic sulfur compounds (VOSCs, 58.6%) and VOSCs (54.9%) as the main group were detected during fruit, meat and vegetable fermentation, respectively. 2-Butanone (55.1%) and ethyl acetate (13.8%) were the two most abundant VOCs from fruit wastes, while dimethyl sulfide (68.0 and 26.6%) and dimethyl disulfide (89.2 and 10.1%) were in vegetable and meat wastes. The predominant Firmicutes represented 93.099.9% of the bacterial communities of meat decomposition, while Firmicutes and Proteobacteria were the dominant phyla throughout the fruit digestion process. Proteobacteria (16.9%83.6%) was the dominant phylum in vegetable wastes, followed by Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria. Malodorous VOCs emissions were highly affected by microbial activity, the abundant Weissella, Leuconostoc and Enterobacteriaceae in vegetable wastes showed correlation with carbon disulfide and dimethyl sulfide, while dominant Peptococcus, Bacteroides, Lactobacillales and Peptoniphilus in meat wastes was related to dimethyl disulfide. Overall, significant differences and correlation between VOCs emission profiles and bacterial communities among different food wastes decomposition were observed. These data contribute to a more comprehensive understanding the relationship between microbial community dynamics and malodorous VOCs emission.

Graphical abstract

Keywords:Food wastes, Decomposition, Malodorous gas emission, Microbial diversity.

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