Nomad Foods Explores Possibility To Increase Freezer Temperatures To Save Energy
A recent study has revealed that storing frozen food at -15°C, a slightly higher temperature than the standard -18°C (equivalent to zero degrees Fahrenheit), could lead to a reduction of over 10% in freezer energy consumption.
This change in temperature does not appear to have any discernible effects on the safety, texture, taste, or nutritional value of the frozen food items.
The study was a collaborative effort between Nomad Foods and Campden BRI, an organization specializing in food science and technology.
The CEO of Nomad Foods, Stéfan Descheemaeker, noted that this innovative pilot study showcases the potential to significantly decrease energy usage in frozen product storage without requiring any reformulations.
The CEO of Campden BRI, Peter Headridge, highlighted the organization’s ability to support such visionary projects due to its wide-ranging expertise across various disciplines in the food and drink industry.
The pilot phase of the study involved testing nine different products, including items like poultry, coated fish, vegetables, plant-based products, and pizza.
The study examined the effects of four temperature ranges, spanning from -18°C to -9°C, across eight crucial aspects such as food safety, texture, nutrition, energy consumption, and packaging.
Interestingly, no significant alterations were observed in the tested products across these various aspects at any of the temperatures, except for some changes in mixed vegetables at -9°C and salmon fillets at -12°C.
A slight impact on the Vitamin C content of vegetable products stored at -9°C was also noted. According to estimates from Campden BRI, each 3°C increase in temperature corresponds to a decrease in freezer energy usage by around 10% to 11%.
Emma Hanby, an associate director at Campden BRI, explained that the organization’s distinct capabilities allowed for a large-scale pilot study in collaboration with Nomad Foods. T
he goal was to consider a wide array of parameters affecting the safety and quality of frozen food. Once regulatory and legal considerations were confirmed, the study utilized a combination of analytical, instrumental, and sensory panel techniques to generate a robust dataset encompassing a variety of Nomad’s products.
This groundbreaking study has the potential to bring about a significant shift in the frozen food industry, resulting in reduced energy consumption and associated cost savings for manufacturers, retailers, and consumers, while also contributing to a decreased carbon footprint of frozen food products.