Extending fresh food shelf-life is a key factor in the reduction of food waste. Colpac explains how sealing technology such as heat seal packaging and M.A.P. packaging can help cut unnecessary waste


lobal food waste is one of the world’s most pressing sustainability

challenges. By 2030 the amount of food wasted each year is expected to have risen by a third, when 2.1bn tonnes will either be lost or thrown away, the equivalent of 66 tonnes per second.* With the Food and Agriculture

Organisation stating that a third of all food produced is lost or wasted before it even reaches the mouth of a consumer; the UK’s major retailers and 50% of larger food businesses, have collaborated to embark upon a ‘Food Waste Reduction Roadmap’ to halve food waste. Encompassing the entire supply chain from farm to fork, the Roadmap is set to define the actions large businesses will

which are thrown away each year, along with £370 million worth of salads.*** As a result, demand is increasing for

sealing technology solutions such as heat seal packaging and Modified Atmosphere Packaging (M.A.P.) which can extend a product’s shelf life. And WRAP research has revealed that extending the shelf life by just one day could save 250,000 tonnes of food waste in the UK annually. Choosing the right sealing system can,

according to Colpac, increase output efficiency and cut the amount of unnecessary food waste. Offering a range of sealing machinery,

and manufacturers are under increasing pressure to stock a diverse range of food- to-go dishes. From salads and sushi, to wraps and sandwiches, and porridges and soups, the choice is ever-expanding.

Colpac offers a range of sealing machinery, from small table top sealing systems to high speed systems for factories

‘Packaging plays an increasingly central role in improving supply chain efficiency and reducing environmental impact’

take to address food waste, both in their own operations, and by supporting their suppliers. There are many different aspects to enhancing the life of a food product, and reducing food waste, but packaging, and the way it is sealed to maintain the freshness, is an indispensable element. This need is particularly prevalent within the food-to-go market which, at the end of 2018, was reported to have increased by £2.5 billion in just three years.** Demand for a greater variety of dishes has exploded within this arena over the years and today supermarkets, food retailers

However, essential ingredients within

food-to-go dishes are still largely accountable for food waste figures, including the 2.6 billion slices of bread

* Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

** /research/in-focus/food- go-market-£25-billion- mid-2015-report-says

*** https://www. business/news/uk- households-bagged-salad- food-waste-throw-away-4 0-per-cent-37000-tonnes- vegetables-a7752731.html


An award-winning bakery has boosted productivity and increased efficiency since it commissioned GEA’s new thermoforming technology. Family-run business Butt Foods chose GEA’s new PowerPak PLUS thermoformer for wrapping naan breads at its Nottingham facility. GEA was successful in winning the bakery’s order thanks to the key benefits of the thermoformer,

including ease of operation, higher speeds and flexibility compared to rival solutions. Offering faster access to market and longer shelf life, whilst reducing the impact of film waste by up to

75% in the packaging process, the PowerPak PLUS’s design can also help food manufacturers shorten set- up and changeover times. In addition, the thermoforming equipment can be operated in tandem with Oxycheck, the non-invasive in-line quality control system for Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP). Danesh Butt, managing director of Butt Foods, said: “The equipment was a significant milestone for Butt Foods as we are an SME and this was our most important purchase to date. GEA made several site visits before successful installation of the line, and all trials have been perfect! GEA delivered on its promises, the system is performing to every expectation and the GEA team has demonstrated nothing but professionalism, support and commitment since we first connected.” The thermoforming packaging machine can comfortably handle

different printed films and a variety of packing weights and product sizes, making the equipment suitable for a range of bakery products. GEA

from small table top sealing systems, suitable for delis or cafes to larger, high speed systems for food manufacturers, Colpac’s machinery incorporates the latest technology to extend shelf life. Depending on the ingredient, heat sealing suits smaller food service operators as it can increase the shelf life of fresh food by two to three days. For extended shelf-life, machinery which

incorporates M.A.P. can increase the shelf life of a product by up to 10 days, depending on the ingredient and supply chain conditions. By removing the oxygen within a pack

prior to sealing and replacing with an inert gas, M.A.P. can stop, or slow down the spoilage process. This enables manufacturers to distribute their products across larger distances, or reduce the frequencies of deliveries made, as customers have a longer time to sell the product. Consequently, this can help manufacturers sell a wider product assortment, simplify production or broaden distribution into more sites. The use of M.A.P. also reduces the need for artificial preservatives. “Packaging plays an increasingly central

role in improving supply chain efficiency and reducing environmental impact,” said Kate Berry, Colpac’s head of marketing & product. “Selecting the right packaging solution for products and innovations in a market which is changing daily is vital. Therefore, it is essential that we, as food packaging suppliers, support our customers in combining their food with the right packaging solution which will ultimately benefit their consumers, supply chain and waste minimisation policies.” “This will not only help them increase the efficiency of their business and afford them with the flexibility to change their offering if consumers demand it, but also enable them to succeed in the ongoing battle to provide sustainable packaging solutions and to reduce food waste.”


12 SEPTEMBER 2019 | PROCESS & CONTROL 

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