Carburos Metálicos explains in its ‘white paper’ how gases are driving sustainability in the food and beverage industry

Carburos Metálicos explains in its ‘white paper’ how gases are driving sustainability in the food and beverage industry
Carburos Metálicos explains in its ‘white paper’ how gases are driving sustainability in the food and beverage industry

Metal Carbidesa leading company in the industrial and medicinal gases sector in Spain that is part of the Air Products group, has published the White book titled ‘The future of food: improving sustainability in the food and drink industry’. The research explains how food gas technology has transformed the way retailers and customers receive and consume packaged food around the world, making it more sustainable due to the positive impact of said gases in reducing food waste, associated emissions to the distribution and preservation of food and the use of packaging.

Currently, the food and beverage sector generates approximately one third of all emissions into the atmosphere of human origin, according to the report ‘Carbon 4 Finance, Report on the food and beverage sector’. By 2050, food production is expected to increase by 70%, so carrying out more rational and sustainable management of energy consumption and the waste generated will be increasingly important. Consumers are also aware of this situation, since 50% mention food waste and inadequate plastic management as the main environmental problems associated with this sector, according to the report ‘State of Green, The food and beverage industry’ .

He ‘Tetra Pak Index 2021’ notes that around a fifth of the food industry’s emissions come from the energy used in transportation, packaging and processing. With the intention of helping to reduce its impact, Air Products has been working for more than 30 years with its Freshline® Food Solutions range, which helps develop sustainable packaging solutions while guaranteeing the highest quality of products.

Benefits of gases in the food industry

The ‘white paper’ published by the company details how, using various food-grade gases, the company has developed applications in the field of cryogenic freezing, protective atmosphere packaging (EAP) and beverage bottling that manage to reduce waste. food, the use of plastics and emissions derived from the transportation, storage and production phases of food and beverages.

Specifically, and based on the data collected, cryogenic freezing using liquid nitrogen reduces the impact of food waste caused by dehydration up to three times compared to other technologies, by reducing said waste from 3 to 1%. Regarding the EAP technique that uses gases such as carbon dioxide, among others, the shelf life of fresh foods can be extended between 50% and 500% depending on the product in question. Carburos Metálicos has developed a Sustainable Packaging Calculator that allows companies in the food sector to determine which is the most sustainable packaging technique (kg CO2e/kg packaged) for each type of food.

Finally, aseptic packaging systems, which are an alternative to heat treatments, use nitrogen to create and maintain a sterile atmosphere during juice packaging. In this case, the reduction in carbon emissions is achieved due to the use of thinner polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles (hot fill systems require a thicker bottle capable of withstanding the temperatures of the sterilization process) and lower energy consumption.

‘The future of food: improving sustainability in the food and beverage industry’, written by Ann Callens, European Director of the Food Segment of the Air Products Group, offers examples of the environmental benefits that solutions based on food gases provide in each one of three areas mentioned. Likewise, the report addresses the concerns and problems of the sector in this regard, the way in which the solutions of the Air Products Group They can make the difference and the future of freezing and packaging technologies.

“Aligned with our greater purpose of offering innovative solutions that benefit the environment and improve sustainability, our Food team has demonstrated that the gas applications developed by the company for decades have a real impact on improving the sustainability of the food industry. food and beverages to help create a cleaner future,” highlights Jordi Mallén, Metallic Carbide Feed Product Manager.

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