How to Reduce Wastage in Food Industry?

Reducing food waste is a global priority not only to conserve natural resources but also to deal with food insecurity. Waste reduction is connected, in part, with the effective management of surplus food. To manage surplus food and reduce food wastage, following measures can be adopted:

Remanufacturing and repacking

Based on the product type and the reason why surplus food is generated, companies can opt for its remanufacturing in the case of production errors, or repackaging in the case of packaging and labelling errors. In both cases, the remaking must follow control instructions given by the quality department, for safety purposes, and surplus food is reworked and fed back to the primary market.


RM wastage

If the waste generated from raw material cannot be re-used, consider composting food waste or sending it for anaerobic digestion instead of disposal to landfill.

Processing wastage

Raw and auxiliary materials, as well as processing acids, enter the production process and exit as one of the following: a desired product, a non-product-specific waste or a product-specific waste. Product-specific waste unavoidably accumulates as a result of processing of raw materials. There are often potentially useful components present in the product specific waste and hence they can be utilized to manufacture other products.

For example,

  1. Feathers, a waste generated in poultry processing industries, can be used in bedding material or sporting equipment.
  2. Collagen and keratin contained in livestock and fish waste may be converted to useful products by enzymatic hydrolysis, providing new physiologically-functional food materials.

Pipe Leak

It is necessary for a food business operator to ensure regular internal audits are conducted and maintenance for equipment is done properly. This will prevent food wastage due to leakages from faulty pipes or any other faulty equipment.

Re engineering of machinery

All with small examples,
Nowadays, food companies are continuously evolving and innovating to optimize operations and reduce wastage of waste water. Little changes (or improvements) made in optimizing the process may be a drop in the ocean, but after all it is the little drops that make the mighty ocean.

Few of the examples include:

  • Marks & Spencer redesigned their meat packaging to use less plastic and maintain the product fresh for as long as possible.
  • At General Mill’s Wellfleet, Ohio plant, which makes frozen pizzas, employees changed the way those pizzas are prepared. By heating the cheese just a little bit more, toppings stuck to the pizza better and fewer ingredients were lost. This change saved nearly 4,000 metric tons of toppings.
  • ConAgra Foods streamlined their Marie Calendar’s potpie operations to reduce the amount of dough that needed to be trimmed off the pie shell. This small change saved over 300 tons of pie dough in a single year. That’s food waste that didn’t happen- 300 tons of water, flour and other ingredients that were never used.

Also Read: CIP (Clean In Plant) in Food Industry