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Shelf life improvement for fruit and vegetables with suitable packaging technology: High pressure processing

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Product description

The situation
The food industry today faces essentially four great challenges:
  • Reducing food waste
  • Raising the level of food safety and consumer protection
  • Handling resources sparingly
  • Developing and using needs-based packaging solutions, which meet current and future trends.
This is because around 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted or lost every year. In terms of fresh fruit and vegetables, the wastage is as high as between 40 and 55 percent of cultivation. Viewed over the whole added value chain, there is food waste from the point of harvesting and production, right through to the processing and storage of food, as well as during transport, and this also occurs in the retail chain and at the consumer.

There are various causes. They depend to some extent on the state of development of the particular country and on people's food habits. In developing countries, food wastage occurs primarily during manufacture, in other words at the start of the added value chain. The reasons for this are unfavourable framework conditions during harvesting or further processing, as well as the sub-optimal infrastructure, inadequate storage and chilling capacity, and unsuitable packaging and marketing concepts. People lack suitable machines, technology and materials to be able to give shelf life to the food and to make it safe. The food therefore spoils before it reaches the consumer.

In developed and emerging countries on the other hand, food waste occurs primarily in households and the retail chain. Food is thrown away, even though it can still be enjoyed - usually when the use-by date has been reached, or because it no longer meets the standards or has become unattractive in appearance, or because it can no longer be sold at a profit.

The damage to the environment, the food industry, the retail trade and consumers is enormous. From the economic perspective, the costs arising from the destruction and disposal of spoilt food run to billions throughout the world. Around 70 million tons of food land in the rubbish bin in the European Union alone. In addition to this, there is the waste of water and use of CO2 equivalents, which are employed in cultivating the food as well as processing and subsequently destroying it.

The trends, which influence consumer behaviour, also have an effect on the utilisation rates of fruit and vegetables. Society and family structures are changing. There are an increasing number of singles in all age groups - and already around half the inhabitants of large cities now live in single-person households. Many families need two incomes to be able to pay for their living costs. In addition to this, we are living and staying fit longer, but we also have to battle against the symptoms of many diseases and are increasingly changing our eating habits to suit the circumstances of modern life. The overall trend towards needs-based food products is therefore continuing - and the focus is on food that is suitable for children and seniors, as well as functional, natural food of the highest quality, together with convenience products and ready meals, which can be prepared quickly without great effort or consumed on the way to work, during the lunch break or while playing sport.

The food industry has to face all these challenges. This means that measures for better utilisation of fresh or delicate food have the absolute top priority. An important factor in this is the packaging procedure. This is because packaging contributes to extending the shelf life of packed products and increasing food safety. It is however a matter of using the technology, which is suitable for the particular food, but which is also economically viable for the particular producer, meets his needs and is within his control.

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Exhibitor

MULTIVAC Sepp Haggenmüller SE & Co. KG

MULTIVAC Sepp Haggenmüller SE & Co. KG

Exhibitor

Exhibitor profile

MULTIVAC is one of the leading providers worldwide of packaging solutions for food products of all types, life science and healthcare products, as well as industrial items. The MULTIVAC portfolio covers virtually all requirements of processors and producers in terms of pack design, output and resource efficiency. It comprises a wide range of packaging technologies as well as automation solutions, labellers and quality control systems. The product range is rounded off with portioning and processing solutions upstream of the packaging process. Thanks to extensive expertise in packaging lines, all modules can be integrated into complete solutions. This means that MULTIVAC solutions guarantee a high level of operational and process reliability as well as efficiency. The MULTIVAC Group has approximately 5,900 employees worldwide, with some 2,200 based at its headquarters in Wolfertschwenden. With over 80 subsidiaries, the Group is represented on all continents. More than 1,000 sales advisors and service technicians throughout the world use their know-how and experience to the benefit of customers, and they ensure that all installed MULTIVAC machines are utilised to their maximum. Further information can be found at: www.multivac.com.

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