Producing food that is thrown away has greater environmental impacts than using more packaging than what many consumers would consider necessary.

Food waste

Approximately 335000 tons or 25 percent of all food that are produced in Norway ends up as waste. Nofima works with the industry and help them solve their part of the problem.

All though the proportion of wastage in the food industry is not particularly high, it is here that a major part of the effort must be put in, so as to reduce wastage further along the value chain. One of the measures will be to increase the shelf life of foods that have a short shelf life. And this will be done by making use of the products’ natural qualities, not by using more preservatives.

Today it is mainly fruit, vegetables and bakery goods that are going to waste. But a great deal of meat and fish is also being thrown away, and these products have a much higher value. Moreover it is beef and lamb especially that have the greatest environmental impact at the production stage. This means that introducing measures to increase the shelf life of meat and fish is equally important.

Packaging is a critical step for obtaining a long shelf life of the products. A high hygienical level during slicing and packaging is important for maintaining low bacterial counts. Nofima tests different methods for maximizing the effect of carbon dioxide as an antimicrobial gas, either directly in the package or by pre-treatment.

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