How to tackle food waste? It’s a question that’s frequently on my mind, especially when I read of the huge amounts of food being wasted each year. The stats are astounding. In the EU, one-fifth of all food is lost or wasted. That’s around 88 million tons per year. And this at a time when 42 million Europeans are struggling to afford a proper daily meal. What can we do about it? Here are two thoughts, and one practical step forward that DSM has developed and is implementing.
Instead of talking about food waste, we need to shift our focus a little. We need to start talking more about the value of food. Not just its monetary value, but its value as a contributor to personal health and well-being, and as a cultural asset. In other words, we need to see food as a “precious good.”
At first sight, the food-waste mountain may seem unconquerable. So it’s important for everyone to take small steps, which together can have a significant impact. At DSM we are doing this by developing specific food, feed, and packaging solutions that protect food and prevent milk, eggs, cheese, and meat being lost or wasted.
Blending these two thoughts together leads to DSM’s practical step forward that I mentioned earlier.
Food loss also occurs during processing and manufacturing of dairy products such as cheese. For example, conventional solutions for ripening hard and semi-hard cheeses typically lead to the formation of an inedible crust.
Our Pack-Age® cheese-ripening solution reduces some of this food loss. Its moisture-permeable, breathable membrane naturally protects against mold and yeast growth during ripening. This leads to a higher yield of safe and fully edible cheese, and reduces cut-off waste by up to 7%.
If all naturally ripened Gouda and Parmesan cheeses were ripened with Pack-Age®, about 200,000 tonnes less cheese would be wasted. That is the equivalent to milk produced by 400,000 cows. What’s more, Pack-Age® is a totally preservative-free solution that meets the clean label standards expected by today’s discerning consumers.
That’s not all. We have tailored Pack-Age® to come up with a specific solution to improve the efficiency of the membrane application of round cheeses. The diamond-shaped bottom of Pack-Age® Diamond leaves less room for residual oxygen after vacuumizing, preventing local mold spots. This innovative packaging also improves the vacuum process, cutting vacuum time by up to 20% and reducing the number of failures. And cheese packaging just looks better because Pack-Age® Diamond reduces the ugly “ears” that appear on cheese packs.
MBM Innovations GmbH, located in Augsburg in the south of Germany, is a well-known manufacturer of vacuum packaging machines. Its innovative VSM® vacuum system with bi-active impulse welding and guaranteed wrinkle-free welding seams is particularly gentle to fragile cheeses. VSM® machines are found worldwide, and pack more than 3,200 tons of cheese per day. MBM trialed Pack-Age® Diamond film on its semi-automatic VSM®1000-X machine. They were impressed by the results and the optimum performance when handling round cheeses.
With their VSM® machines optimized to perfectly handle Pack-Age® films, customers in the cheese strongholds of Switzerland and the Netherlands, as well as in Germany, Spain and Lithuania are now packing their cheeses with Pack-Age® or Pack-Age® Diamond on VSM® machines. Bernd Mayer, CEO of MBM, told me that “Pack-Age® Diamond is an important step forward to improve the packaging of round cheeses. We find that Pack-Age® Diamond reduces the time needed to obtain optimum vacuum conditions by as much as 16%, which obviously leads to increased production rates.”
To discover how DSM can guide and support you with the smooth implementation of Pack-Age® Diamond for your round cheese production processes, just contact DSM and we’ll be happy to help.
Interested in reading more about Pack-Age®? This product leaflet will give you all the insights you need.
Looking for a natural membrane that protects your product? Need a packaging solution that boosts your cheese yield?
Meet our sustainable Pack-Age® family.
Senior Technical Service Manager
26 February 2021