GERMANY - Resource efficiency is the central theme of the Anuga FoodTec exhibition that opened in Cologne, Germany this week.
With more than 1500 exhibitors, a rise of 14 per cent on the last show in 2012, the food processing technology event has seen the launch and development of new methods and systems to reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
According to measurement technology company Endress and Hauser a single medium sized company in the meat sector could have CO2 savings equivalent to a mid-sized car travelling around the world 177 times.
While energy costs account for just two per cent of the revenue in the food industry, sustainable solutions to reduce energy consumption are still essential for producers and processors if they want to survive in the market in the long term.
“Energy efficiency plays a key role in this regard,” Prof Antonio Delgado from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg said.
He said that there is a particular conflict within the food sector because he believes that any measure to increase energy efficiency could be detrimental to either food quality or safety.
This means that systems that have been developed to see more efficient use of energy in other sectors might not be suitable for the food sector.
Prof Delgado said that one way to achieve greater energy efficiency is to use “energetic interactions between the production process and infrastructure”.
He said that one of the major savings could be in the synergenic effects between heat generation and refrigeration.
Using waste heat from other installations to generate steam through heat recovery is another way to maximise energy efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.
The expo that is expected to attract more than 43,000 visitors is also offering advice on the sustainable use of water as well as showing the latest advances in automation and robotics that are increasing efficiency in the meat and food processing industry.