Food Specialties | Food Specialties | Insights | Dairy

August 21st, 2019

Extending shelf life: It’s only natural

Ingrid Damen
Global Business Manager Bioprotection

Key reasons why food producers need to seriously consider biopreservatives as a means to extend shelf life naturally and reduce food waste.

Consumers are demanding more from their food than ever before. And I’m one of them! For example, I would be delighted if the baked goods, dairy products, and beverages I buy today could stay fresh and appealing for longer. However, it’s important to me that such improvements do not come at any cost; It shouldn’t have a negative impact on flavor and I don’t want to see artificial preservatives in the ingredients list.

At DSM we have identified four reasons why it makes sense for food manufacturers to consider extending shelf life naturally rather than artificially, and seriously look into biopreservatives or anti-oxidants.

  1. Extending shelf life helps reduce food waste.
  2. Consumers prefer natural preservatives.
  3. Most consumers check expiry dates and labels.
  4. Shelf life problems can damage reputation.

In this blog post I would like to take you through the first two reasons, and cover the other two in a later article.

DSM Solution

Read more about our biopreservatives to naturally extend shelf life and preserve your finest dairy, baked goods and beverages.

Extending shelf life helps reduce food waste

Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted. That equates to a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of food! In industrialized countries more than 40% of losses happen at retail and consumer levels.1 Research by the Netherlands Nutrition Centre shows that 30% of people interviewed indicated “past best-before date” as a reason why they throw away food.2

The good news is that several studies indicate that this massive food waste mountain could be reduced by extending shelf life. According to research by WRAP, an increase of shelf life of just one day could help prevent up to 0.2 million tonnes of household food waste!3 Biopreservatives can play a key role in reducing food waste.

[1] International Food Information Council Foundation, 2016 Food & Health Survey
[2] https://mobiel.voedingscentrum.nl 
[3] http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Product%20Life%20Report%20Final_0.pdf

Consumers prefer natural preservatives

Our research among over 1,000 consumers clearly shows that consumers think natural preservatives are as effective as chemical preservatives, but are better for health, safer, more sustainable and better tasting, as shown in the figure.

extending-shelf-life-it-is-only-natural

In addition, we recently collated the results from our Naturalness Research 2019, in which we polled 8,000 consumers from 16 countries about their understanding and attitudes towards naturalness when it comes to food & beverages and dietary supplements. A resounding 82% of consumers agreed that “natural products are better for me.” 70% of the global population agreed that “when purchasing a packaged food/beverage product, I prefer those that are more natural.”

The message is clear

Extending shelf life is not only essential to reduce global food waste, but can be done in a natural way.

At DSM, as part of our sustainability commitment, we leverage our in-depth food processing knowledge and create solutions that help cheese, yogurt, baking and beverage manufacturers keep their products fresh for longer, prevent spoilage and reduce food waste.

Do you want to know more about our wide portfolio of products and solutions to naturally extend shelf life? Visit our dedicated webpage on natural shelf life solutions such as biopreservatives and anti-oxidants. Or contact me and I will gladly help you find the best biopreservation solution for your specific needs.

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