The Jenton Group Thinks Food Waste is Sustainable KeyA WRAP report in 2015 determined that by extending a ‘use by’ date by just one day,up to £600 million could be saved each year,” says Dr Russell Sion from Dimaco (UK),part of the Jenton Group.
An example of this comes from JenACT, a subsidiary of Jenton International, that worked
in partnership with Marine Products (Scotland) to develop a system for extending the shelf life of salmon fillets by exposing them to ultraviolet light.
The team came up with a suitable UVC Conveyor and conducted several rounds of microbiological testing together with shelf-life testing. The result was a clear demonstration that the shelf-life of the salmon fillets increased from 10 to 20 days – far more than the one day discussed in the WRAP report. Another area that WRAP has investigated is the effect of leaking packs on the waste associated with processed food, while a further area, and possibly even more infuriating, is food returned to the processor because the labelling is missing, or the labelling is incorrect. Typical errors include incorrect ‘use-by’ dates or missing allergen information.
DETAILING THREE EXAMPLES: These three examples have many things in common. First, they all create waste from otherwise perfectly good food.
Secondly, there are techniques currently being utilised to try and either nullify the effect or test for it in the highcare food production environment.
Thirdly, there is one additional technology which when combined with existing methods
and technologies can radically improve the detection of, for example, mould spores, poor seals and incorrect labelling. That technology is, of course, machine vision.
A perfect example is the latest seal tester from Jenton Ariana.Until now, all Jenton Ariana seal testers have tested thermoformed and top sealed trays using a proprietary online 100% pressure based technology. In short, a defined pressure is applied to all packs and the deformation measured. By comparing this deformation signature to that of a known good pack, a leaking pack can be detected and rejected while still in high care, and all without
affecting line speed. Where the technology often fails however is spotting a pack that is
currently sound, but one that is likely to leak. That’s where vision comes in – literally to see food trapped in the seal itself. This is especially common where the food is automatically loaded into the thermoformed packs or trays and a trace of food such as spaghetti becomes caught in the seal.
Although it probably will not affect the seal integrity at that instant, once it starts to dry it will shrink and the pack will be compromised. The example of the bacteria & spores on fruit is also an excellent example of combining technologies. Exposure to one frequency of UV light will render the bacteria harmless, whereas exposure to a differing frequency of UV light will cause the spores to fluoresce light in the visible spectrum which can be detected using machine vision systems. By using machine vision in combination with other techniques it is possible to create extremely robust and economic systems to significantly reduce food waste.
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