AAK addressing the issue of food waste with Crestawhip® and Supertex® shelf life extenders
AAK (UK) Limited, the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of fats and functional ingredients to the bakery sector, has made the reduction of food waste a key priority within its R&D programme. Recent research undertaken by the company indicates that products, including its Crestawhip® and Supertex® ranges, can significantly benefit the shelf life of a range of baked goods. Increased shelf life effectively reduces food waste throughout the supply chain, from manufacturer to consumer.
In the UK, 15 million tonnes of food is wasted each year, with 4.3 million tonnes of food being disposed of throughout the supply chain. Of the 7 million tonnes wasted by households, 4 million tonnes of food is thrown away unnecessarily.
Bread ranks as the top food type thrown away despite being edible, with cake being the ninth most disposed of edible food product.
The cost of this to the consumer amounts to an average of over £50 per year, but the environmental price is much higher. The greenhouse gas emissions associated with avoidable food and drink waste from homes accounts for approximately 17 million tonnes of CO2. That is the equivalent of a quarter of car CO2 emissions in the UK. Understandably, manufacturers and retailers are being called upon to help address the problem.
AAK has developed a range of shelf life extenders which improve the eating quality of baked goods, whilst ensuring longevity and thereby reducing waste.
Shelf life extenders encapsulate moisture into mixes for cakes, breads and morning goods. By holding liquid within the product’s structure, shelf life extenders such as AAK’s Crestawhip® and Supertex® ranges, delay the gelatinisation of starches, slowing staling. AAK’s research shows that the result is a softer product with a longer shelf life [please see graph below which illustrates the impact of the addition of Crestawhip® to a loaf cake recipe].
“With addition rates of just 1–3%, shelf life extenders are a cost effective solution to the problem of food waste in the UK,” said Helen Flower of AAK. “Products which previously were judged to be ‘past their best’ despite being perfectly edible can, with the addition of our shelf life extenders, remain soft, moist and tasty for longer.
“Increased shelf life not only reduces waste at home and in-store, but also during the manufacturing process. The result is a reduction of unnecessary food disposal across the supply chain.”
Used in cakes, Crestawhip® ARO creates a moister, more appetising crumb and mixes into the batter evenly.
Supertex ® Plus is used by bread, roll and morning goods manufacturers for the same results. A small addition at the dough mixing stage results in finished baked goods with a softer crumb structure and delayed staling.