Food waste generates plenty of press. Though many places around the globe do not have enough to eat, the world loses or wastes 1.3 billion tons of food each year. For the American consumer, our portion amounts to approximately $29 billion spent on food that is never actually consumed. But this isn’t just a consumer problem – it is also a manufacturing issue. Here are some ways manufacturers can help eliminate food waste.
One suggestion recently offered by The Consumer Goods Forum is to change the labeling process to something simpler. Consumers often get confused by the various expiration dates on food – the “sell by” and “use by” dates, for example, confuse some people who are then looking at yet another “best before” date. Simplification would ensure more consumers used food in a timely manner.
Of course, there is always waste on the part of manufacturers when the processing of foods goes awry. Mixers that waste key ingredients and ruin entire batches cost money and time. Heaters that cannot create a consistent product in every run cost the company money and production time as well as potentially damaging the brand when an expected packaged food does not taste as a consumer remembers it should.
Even worse, poor equipment can lead to sanitation issues, prompting food or beverage recalls that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and sicken people. Proper mixing, such as a Komax static mixer with no moving parts, means that there is less sludging and fouling in the pipelines, less downtime used for cleaning equipment and less chance of a sanitation crisis.
The problem of food waste is not insignificant. The average U.S. household with children throws away $1500 worth of food every year. Food loss and waste have also been linked as a major contributor to climate change and green house gasses. While the solutions will be diverse, solving the problem of food waste is in everyone’s best interests!