Preservation Technology is Key to Reducing Food Waste

( Janeal Yancey )

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Each year, more than 1.3 billion metric tons of food waste are generated around the world. That amounts to a $1 trillion economic loss globally annually. 

A new report by Lux Research outlines key protection and preservation technologies to help companies achieve significant reductions in both pre-consumer food loss and post-consumer food waste, according to a release. 

“Preservation and shelf life extension technologies are key across the agrifood and health ecosystems, something the pharmaceutical and pesticide industries have long understood,” says Harini Venkataraman, Lux Research analyst and lead author of the report. “We’re now seeing innovation and new solution development across the food supply chain, from pre-harvest preservation technologies to post-retail and in-home storage solutions.”

The report highlights best-in-class protection and preservation technologies across six segments of the food value chain that emerging technologies companies need to invest in now to take full advantage of the benefits of preservation technology. 

Although traditional preservation methods will continue to help drive value, the report says, the penetration and adoption of biological and digital tools will play important roles in shaping the future of preservation tech, be it digital solutions for crop protection in the pre-harvest stage, sensor-enabled smart packaging solutions, or efficient demand forecasting and inventory management in the retail segment.

Lux Research predicts developments in all six segments of the value chain in the next three years. Here are the key points the report shared about what’s ahead.

1.    Pre-harvest: Integrated crop protection methods will become industry-standard.
2.    Post-harvest and storage: Waxes will lose dominance to a mix of bio-based coating solutions.
3.    Formulation and processing: Biopreservation methods will gain performance parity with conventional methods.
4.    Packaging: Antimicrobials will dominate active packaging developments.
5.    Distribution and retail: Adoption of digital tools will increase, driven by supply chain management.
6.    Post-retail and in-home: Smart appliances will get smarter, but POU sensors will flourish.

COVID-19 has reinforced the need for supply chain resiliency. Emerging from this crisis will require effective preservation technologies from farm to fork to mitigate demand shocks, improve margins, and reduce overall FLW, the report says.

View the report here.

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