Cool energy savings for frozen food makers

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Energy savings, Temperature, Thermodynamics, Heat

Using electrical equipment more precisely could help frozen food companies shave up to 15 per cent off their electricity bills, according to a new report from the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) in association with the Carbon Trust.

Speaking exclusively to FoodProductionDaily.com, Brian Young, BFF director-general of the BFFF outlined three reasons why frozen food companies should improve the energy efficiency of their cold chain operations.

In the current economic climate, it’s essential that companies take advantage of any available financial savings, and failing to do so puts companies at a commercial disadvantage. Also, companies have a corporate social responsibility to minimize carbon emissions.”

Mr Young said the areas where the greatest savings could be made were in the appropriate setting of variable speed drive fans, raising cold store air temperatures and reducing the temperature difference of air refrigerants. For example, raising cold store air temperature and suction pressure control by about 6ºC could yield energy savings of over 15 per cent, according to the report.

Temperature fluctuations

Smaller energy savings could also be made through the seasonal adjustment of evaporating temperature, avoiding air temperature fluctuations, splitting blast freezers and cold stores and avoiding over-cooling in blast freezers.

Some frozen food manufacturers and cold store operators keep their cold stores at a lower temperature than necessary due to concerns that products will be exposed to warmer temperatures later in the supply chain, warns the report.

Sub-metering electricity flows will help companies to prioritise the areas where energy savings could be made, said Young.

Implementing the report’s recommendations could lead to energy savings equivalent to 4,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year without reducing food quality or food safety.

Energy savings

BFFF wanted to not only emphasise the importance of energy savings and carbon reductions within the frozen food industry, but also to create cost saving opportunities for our membership​,” said Young. “Together with the Carbon Trust, we believe this report is an important start to this process​."

Eight food manufacturers and five logistic service providers agreed to take part in the study. They represent large, medium and small companies that manufacture a wide range of frozen food products including poultry, seafood, ready meals, pizzas, vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and ice cream.

Data loggers were used to monitor temperatures in pallets of food in manufacturers’ cold stores, during transport and in the cold stores of logistical service providers.

Meanwhile, the market research group Packaged Facts yesterday issued a new report, which estimates that US retail sales of frozen foods and beverages through all retail channels reached nearly $51.8bn last year reflecting a 6.5 per cent gain over the previous year’s sales of $48.7bn.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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