Things Food Processing Facilities can do to Reduce Food Waste
On an average, more than 7 tonnes of food is wasted or lost every year in Australia. Unfortunately enough, a large proportion of this wasted food is edible. When we look at the global picture, 690 million people around the world were affected by hunger in 2019. It is estimated that 931 million tonnes of food were wasted across the globe in 2019. This is 17% of total food received by the consumers in 2019.
Wastage of food takes place when a consumable food item is not consumed because of improper storage, spoilage, loss in transit, premature discarding, or buying practices. It is true that a sizeable amount of food waste is donated, recycled, or reused by the manufacturers. However, it is also important that they figure out ways to reduce the wastage of food in the first place. This will not only mitigate the impact of the industry on food sources, but also improve sustainability of the supply chain at multiple levels.
Mentioned below are some of the most important things food manufacturers can do to reduce food waste.
- Packaging: When it comes to preserving and protecting food in the home as well as throughout the supply chain, packaging plays an extremely important role. Packaging practices such as using individually sealed compartments, using resealable packaging, or packaging products in a range of portion sizes can help. Also, experts suggest it is time to develop more innovative packaging solutions. For example, the length of time before milk spoils can be doubled by embedding silver nanoparticles into plastic bottles used for storage. Another innovative approach is to use packaging capable of detecting when a product goes bad.
- Consumer Education: It is important to note that wastage of food doesn’t happen only in the manufacturing facility. In many instances, the end consumer can be held responsible for food wastage. However, the manufacturers can certainly help consumers minimise this wastage by educating them. Consumers can be educated through educational messages and tips printed on the packaging. Educating consumers about food storage best practices, shopping and meal planning and composting can be extremely useful.
- Standardised Date Labels: Product date labels such as “expires on”, “use by”, “best before”, “sell by”, and so on can be confusing to consumers. By using standardised date labels, it is possible to clearly indicate whether a particular date relates to spoilage or just the peak quality window.
- Sustainable Solutions: The problem of food spoilage can be solved to a great extent by developing natural, sustainable solutions. Certain food products can be protected from oxidation, water loss, mold, and bugs by creating edible barriers made from unused produce parts such as leaves and stems.
- Supply Chain Optimisation: Supply chains can be optimised using software solutions to ensure that the products are shipped and sent to the stores quickly. It is possible to reduce food waste by getting products quickly on store shelves.
At Lumix Procut, we provide state-of-the-art industrial food equipment solutions designed specifically for the food processing industry. Please contact our experts, if you are looking to prevent wastage of food within your facility.