Sustainable Food Processing: Best Practices and Innovations - DC Norris
Sustainable Food Processing

Sustainable Food Processing: Best Practices and Innovations

June 21, 2023

Author: Annabel Norris, Marketing Manager

Sustainability is a hot topic globally as we continually look for ways to protect our environment, ensuring there are enough resources for future generations. It is essential that food and beverage manufacturers embrace sustainable food processing, address these concerns, and strike the balance between productivity and sustainability.

The Need for Sustainable Food Processing

Historically, industrial food processing has placed significant pressure on our global resources. However, as an industry, we are now more aware of these challenges and are transitioning to sustainable food processing. This shift involves producing foods on an ongoing basis without undue harm to the environment. Factors such as reducing the amount of water used and optimising energy consumption play an essential role in mitigating global warming. Similarly, limiting needless food waste is extremely important.

It is critical that Food Manufacturers make these important changes, as mass production has put a big strain on our environment. Currently, about one-third of food produced globally never gets consumed, and food waste accounts for about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Consumers’ demands are now more sophisticated; they want to know the provenance of their food and that it has been produced sustainably. There has also been a significant shift over to plant-based foods as consumers aim to reduce their environmental footprints.

Innovations in Sustainable Food Processing

DC Norris is committed to developing and installing the most up-to-date environmentally friendly food processing systems. We have launched a new range of equipment and redesigned existing machinery with the specific objective to reduce carbon footprint.

Jet Cook: Energy Efficient Cooking

Scientific trials have shown that 52.5% less energy is used when cooking with DCN’s Jet Cook technology compared to conventional kettles. Manufacturers can benefit from rapid heating and huge energy savings as 99.5% of the energy is collapsed directly into the product. Less water is required for cleaning as there is zero burn-on on the vessels.

Recipe Manager Software: Minimising Waste

DCN’s Recipe Manager can be used to efficiently control DCN equipment, including Cooking Kettles, Cooling Systems, Cook Quench Chill and CIP systems, reducing the need for operator input. Getting it right the first time is now even more important to avoid wasting valuable ingredients, energy, and time. The many features and benefits ensure optimum efficiency and consistency between batches, meaning downtime and process errors are kept to a minimum.

Process and Product Development: Maximising Efficiency

We offer product and process training either on customers’ sites or in our Product Development Kitchen. This training ensures that operators are using our systems to their best potential in the most energy-saving and time-efficient way. Recipe processes will also be evaluated to ensure they are being carried out correctly with fewer wasted ingredients.

DCN has considerable experience working with plant-based food manufacturers and can help with recipe development and process training. By investing in high-quality food processing systems, customers can be confident that their equipment will last longer and achieve maximum efficiency.

A Real-World Example: Fresh Cut Foods

In 2021, we installed our new Cook Quench Chill ‘Adapt’ into Fresh Cut Foods in Nottingham, UK. This new model was developed during lockdown with the specific objective to reduce the carbon footprint for our customers.

“This was part of a project to upgrade the manufacturing capability of the facility, to accommodate the increase in product demand… The ‘Adapt’ is using a fraction of the amount of water and energy compared to our existing linear system. In addition, we have seen significant improvements in overall plant and labour productivity, through increased batch sizes, reduced cycle times (in some cases cycle times have halved), and reduced line manning.”

Chris Copestake, Chief Executive at Fresh Cut Foods

Embracing sustainable food processing

In conclusion, embracing sustainability in food processing is not just about addressing global environmental concerns, but it’s also a strategic move that ensures business longevity and customer satisfaction. By creating more efficient, sustainable systems, DC Norris is demonstrating that it’s possible to improve productivity while reducing environmental impact. To learn more about our sustainable food processing solutions, contact us today.

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