On Day Three of foodpro 2023, Corbion regional business development manager Eugene Seah shared practical information on how to leverage food preservation to reduce food waste and meet prevailing consumer needs in the chilled prepared foods segment.
Consumer demands have been evolving over the years, and it is no longer sufficient for food to just taste great, but it needs to be nutritious and convenient as well.
Corbion is a food and biochemicals company working to deliver sustainable solutions for the preservation of food and food production, health, and the planet.
Seah highlighted three trends worsening food loss and waste: convenience, new product demand, and naturalism.
Seah said consumer demand for convenience has grown and includes specificities such as minimal meal preparation, omnichannel availability and flexible subscriptions, which in turn increases the challenge for inventory management at the manufacturers’ end.
Demand for variety in new product releases also places tension on producers mitigating food loss. Seah adds that for new launches, products can stay on shelves longer than established products, highlighting the potential for increased food waste if the new product has the same shelf life as a predecessor or established product.
Similarly, when consumers demand naturalism, products with less appealing ingredients and packaging, older products may go to waste, while more manufacturing resources are spent catering to the naturalism trend; which in turn may have shorter shelf lives due to the loss of certain preservatives.
Corbion’s ‘no silver bullet’ solution to the problem included addressing the issue all along the supply chain. Seah said food loss and waste was a problem with multifaceted implications. Globally, 33 per cent of food is lost and wasted.
Seah says a simple overall solution is to extend shelf life.
Able to assist is Corbion’s Verdad natural ferments, a bio-based raw material to increase shelf-life. Verdad is classified as a food ingredient in AU and made using food approved microbes.
Seah concluded that albeit complex, mitigating food loss and waste and consumer demands can be addressed synergistically; all it requires is to build expertise and act together.