Beer From Leftover Bread

Research findings, new materials and innovations in mechanical engineering: The latest approaches and technologies in the fight against food loss and waste will be presented at Interpack in Düsseldorf up to and including Wednesday.

About 21 kilograms of bread per person are thrown away every year in Germany. What can be done about this? asked members of the Enactus student network from Aachen, Germany, and came up with an unusual idea: They started an experiment to brew beer from leftover bread. After several brewing attempts with different results, they finally landed on the recipe they use today to brew cookie sack. As a start-up, the young entrepreneurs presented their craft beer called keäksack at the VDMA Technology Lounge.

Keäksack’s booth is one component of the “Save Food” initiative, with which Interpack, the world’s largest trade fair for processing and packaging, sets an example against food waste. Numerous trade show exhibitors who are members and partners of the “Save Food” initiative will be demonstrating how food can be safely processed and packaged, how it can be preserved for longer, and yet how food waste can be reused in a sustainable manner.

Globally, about 14 percent of food, worth about $400 billion, is lost between harvest and retail each year. At the same time, it is estimated that another 17 percent is wasted at the retail and end-user level. Reducing these figures is the aim of the Save Food initiative, which was launched in 2011 by Messe Düsseldorf, Interpack and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It brings together international organizations with food producers and packaging manufacturers.

At the trade show, the “Save Food” stand will provide information about the initiative. There will also be the theme day on product safety and the “Highlight Route” of “Save Food”. The “Highlight Route” offers visitors an overview of current projects and products of the participating members. Topics include how food losses can be minimized during the filling process, how reliable product inspection and high-quality sealing can succeed, or how undesirable contamination can be avoided. Also on display will be highly sensitive foreign body detectors for all critical control points in the production process to prevent recalls and false rejections, as well as packaging solutions and machinery for extending the shelf life of food products. According to Interpack, participating exhibitors include IMA Industria Macchine Automatiche, Syntegon Technology, Multivac, Ishida Europe, Theegarten-Pactec, Gerhard Schubert, Fawema, Ulma Packaging, Mettler-Toledo Garvens, Rotzinger or Sealpac.

In addition, many other Interpack exhibitors will showcase solutions for safe processing and packaging. The food industry is one of the top visitor target groups at the trade show, and the range of products on display is correspondingly large. The focus for food products is on Halls 5, 6, 11, 13 and 14, and for confectionery and bakery products on Halls 1,3 and 4.

Research project with BAU University

Residual materials from food production are generally disposed of. At the same time, demand for alternatives to plastic packaging is increasing. One sustainable option is the production of bio-based and compostable packaging from food waste or by-products of the food industry. The “Save Food” Initiative is working on this idea together with Bahçeşehir University (BAU) in Istanbul.

Over the past few months, a total of 28 students have tested various approaches. Two projects came out on top. A kombucha scoby biofilm made from orange and tea waste for packaging dry food has great potential and good prospects for applicability. Another team implemented the idea of packaging strawberries under a protective atmosphere in a package made of integrated nanofilm from PLA and rice husks. The results will be presented by the university and the students at the “Spotlight Talks & Trends” forum at 2:30 p.m. on May 9.

Product safety theme day on May 9

Product safety is the core task of packaging and one of the four Hot Topics at interpack. The industry is already making an important contribution to reducing food waste. The Product Safety Theme Day will provide information on current projects and innovations in the “Spotlight Talks & Trends” lecture forum in the North Entrance Area. On Wednesday, May 9, there will be a presentation by the FAO in Europe and Central Asia on cooperation in the fight against food loss and waste, and an overview of best practices in the packaging industry from the WPO (World Packaging Organization). Exciting innovations will also be presented by Ishida Europe Limited, Pilz and Mettler Toledo.

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