Food packaging plays a central role in the global approach to reduce food waste, mainly in developing countries and emerging markets. Dr. Claudia Schönweitz, Acting Manager of the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV), is convinced of this. “There are many reasons why China has retrofitted its packaging technology in recent years in order to be able to supply its population in a reasonable manner”, said Schönweitz at the end of September in Stuttgart, at the 19th Nutrition Conference of the German Nutrition Society Baden-Württemberg (DGE-BW).
Packaging helps in the Reduction of Food Waste all over the World
According to Schönweitz, up to 40% of the food is going to waste before it reaches the consumer, especially in developing and emerging countries. The reason: insufficient packaging and the lack of logistical infrastructure. In industrialised nations, on the other hand, a significant volume of food is being thrown away by consumers because they no longer trust the best-before dates, she adds. Schönweitz states that modern food packaging would be able to solve these problems in emerging countries as well as in industrialised nations. “Each day, each week we can add to the storage life of food offers us more intelligent options for resource management.”
Packaging with a solid Energy Footprint
Schönweitz also pointed out that - other than commonly expected - the energy footprint of the packaging production within the food production chain is comparatively decent. While more than 50% of the entire energy consumption within the food-production chain is used up by the food production itself and another 30% is used due to storage and preparation on the consumer end, packaging production requires only 3% of the total energy along the chain between the field and the plate, she adds.