Waste is a significant problem in food supply chains. There is potential for spoilage of food products at any stage of the supply chain when the products reach their “best before” or “sell by date”.
As a key to the food waste problem, there is a trend towards developing shelf life solutions that are intended to allow products not only to last longer, but also to improve their quality and nutritional benefits. This cannot happen soon enough if we consider for a moment the following facts:
- Between 1.3mt and 2.6mt of food is wasted every year because the product life has expired. Households waste food because it has ‘not been used in time’ and retailers don’t sell food that has exceeded its use-by date.
- Some 250,000 tonnes of food waste can be prevented by a one-day increase in product life. This includes food wasted by households and by the retailer supply chain.
- By preventing this volume of waste, UK shoppers look at a potential shared saving of up to £500 million. The direct business benefit to retailers is approaching £100 million in waste prevention alone: with increased sales through improved on-shelf availability it is another benefit retailers may enjoy.
How can good air filtration help and support this situation?
One area that can help to reduce waste and improve supermarket shelf life is in the food processing plants and specifically, good ventilation and air filtration.
We know that poor filtration and ventilation allows for the build up of moulds and yeast, which is a major cause of product deterioration. The knock on effect in terms of waste, revenue loss and brand damage is a major issue for supermarkets, manufacturers and the end customer.
Therefore, proper air filtration and air ventilation strategies are key in order to act on the microorganisms such as bacteria and moulds found in the atmosphere. Properly maintained filtration and air ventilation systems will reduce the amount of moisture in the air and eliminate particles containing bacteria etc… by sterilising, collecting and retaining them. It is also important that ventilation and air filtration equipment is maintained, as the damp, moist or humid ventilation system can act as a breeding ground for mould.
However, it is not just the air quality in the processing plant that can help. The following factors can also be present in a supermarket;
- Gases such as carbon monoxide or radon
- Contaminants such as mold
- Improper or inadequate ventilation
and they can all affect Indoor Air Quality.
So, it is important for supermarkets to take Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) seriously in order to improve customer experience, reduce waste and improve shelf-life, however it is a sad fact that some supermarkets are not giving this issue careful consideration, outside of the energy saving and cost reduction agenda.
Talk to us about our air filtration and ventilation solutions today. Contact us at HVDS on 01785 256976 or firstname.lastname@example.org.