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Eco-Friendly Production With Sustainable Food Processing

Eco Friendly Production With Sustainable Food Processing, HS Innovations

Sustainable food processing is no longer a choice but vital to the continued existence of the food processing and manufacturing industry. The industry is inextricably linked to the future of agriculture, which is, in turn, dependent on a stable climate. The food production system focuses on efficiency, safety, and quality, but there is a waste gap. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that in 2019, the food and beverage manufacturing and processing sectors generated 40 million tons of wasted food, of which 42.6% was managed by anaerobic digestion. 

Promoting sustainable food production includes more effectively managing the food waste we generate, using less water, utilizing renewable energy sources at plants, and choosing innovative systems that benefit companies and the environment. We discuss eco-friendly food production in this article, and how HS Innovations’ ORCA system contributes to sustainable practices.  

Understanding Eco-Friendly Food Production   

Eco-friendly food production requires stakeholders to move beyond the current status quo. Economic and environmental considerations must be incorporated into the processing and manufacturing system in a more focused manner.

Environmental. The food production lifecycle must have a positive or neutral impact on the environment. Aspects that might require attention include food waste, water and energy management, and the chemicals used to clean and sanitize systems.

Economic. Sustainability requires the food processing and manufacturing system to be commercially viable, thereby generating economic value for all stakeholders, including shareholders, clients, service providers, employees, government, and consumers.  

Methods for Eco-Friendly Food Processing   

Several eco-friendly food processing methods can be implemented at plant level, and each would differ based on sector needs. Economic research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that meat processing is the largest industry group in food and beverage manufacturing. Meat processing includes livestock and poultry slaughter, processing, and rendering. 

HSI has more than ninety years of combined poultry processing experience. We used this deep industry insight to design the Oil Reclaim & Cooling Assist (ORCA) system specifically for food manufacturers in the poultry industry. It addresses challenges experienced during ‘carry out’ and is designed to be attached to existing sediment filter conveyors. 

The ORCA system offers clients several economic and environmental benefits. It extends oil life, enhances safety, provides cost reduction, improves sediment/crumb removal, a simplified cleaning process, and eliminates the need for water to cool the oil and sediment/crumb.   

Exploring Sustainable Food Production Methods   

Which sustainable food production methods, other than reducing water usage, will support eco-friendly processing? Design automated systems to utilize raw materials and energy optimally and choose to install renewable energy sources at plants. Perform a waste audit to determine how the company can contribute to minimizing the 57.4% food waste gap which exists beyond anaerobic digestion, and use data to identify areas of improvement.

Choose eco-friendly packaging that supports environmentally aware consumer values. Utilize modular designs that allow the business to produce a range of products, thereby eliminating excess industrial equipment that must be disposed of at the end of its lifecycle, complying with commercial waste regulations. Determine if lean manufacturing will benefit the production system by eliminating supply chain waste. Invest in employee training programs focused on sustainable practices and issues.

A Healthier Planet With Sustainable Food Production   

More than a decade ago, the United Nations (UN) adopted seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It was a universal call to ensure that by 2030, all people will enjoy peace and prosperity, there will be an end to poverty, and the planet will be protected. The UN feels that the food system, which includes processing, is not sustainable in its current form as it accounts for a third of greenhouse gas emissions and uses 70 percent of the world’s freshwater.

Sustainable food production is possible when the food processing and manufacturing industry commits to utilizing eco-friendly practices and innovations throughout its value chain. 

HS Innovations is committed to assisting clients with their sustainability priorities through our innovative products and quality services. Contact HSI today to discuss sustainable food processing and how we can support your company. 

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Fayetteville AR 72703
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