Trend alert: The major innovations in food storage
At a time when hunger affected 828 million people in the world in 2021 (UN), an efficient cold storage infrastructure along with innovative packaging technology can be a game-changer for the food and beverage industry.
The World Economic Forum estimates that more than 250 million tonnes of food (translating as over US$ 310 billion annually) is wasted annually in developing countries. It adds that in developing countries, 40% of food loss occurs after harvest and early in the supply chain. At a time when hunger affected 828 million people in the world in 2021 (UN), an efficient cold storage infrastructure along with innovative packaging technology can be a game-changer for the food and beverage industry.
A number of companies are coming up with innovative solutions to help improve the cold chain process and thereby, improve the overall efficiency of the food system. One such technology that is currently being deployed by a few F&B companies includes IoT-enabled remote monitoring systems. Such technology can enable supervisors to action if the temperatures are fluctuating beyond the requisite limits and save precious food.
Navi Mumbai-based cold-chain marketplace startup, Celcius offers an aggregator platform that connects clients with cold-chain transportation and warehousing service providers. It has a robust ecosystem of 2000 reefer vehicles and 75 warehouses. It provide cold storage solutions across various sectors including dairy, pharma, fresh food and seafood.
To reduce the perishability of food products, some domestic companies have also started using Individual Quick Freezing (IQF), to ensure that the product maintains similar moisture, flavor and texture. Saraf Foods, Taj Frozen Food India, Capricorn Group & IQF Foods Limited are currently using this technology. At the same time, vacuum frying technology is also gaining momentum in the country. The former technique makes snacks healthier by bringing down their fat content by up to 80% while they retain up to 90% of their nutrients. Companies like Frubites, Wayanad Organic Research, Crimz & Orbela Agro Foods, among others are using vacuum frying technique.
Another startup with innovative farm-to-folk solutions is Ecozen Solutions. Founded by 3 IIT Kharagpur alumini, the company is associated with a solar micro cold storage system to meet the demands for storage needs of farmers. So far, the startup has helped 82k farmers, reduced food wastage by over 19k MT & generated 945 million KWH clean energy.
Lastly, a company has come up with a solution that erases the need for cold storage or cold supply chains altogether! GreenPod Labs, an agri-biotech startup has designed to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables by up to 12 days. The cherry on the cake is the fact that these sachets are eco-friendly, available at fairly competitive prices and helping the farmers to get a better price for their produce.