Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods today (8) announced the results of a pilot study to investigate the potential to store frozen food at higher temperatures.
The unique study, conducted over six months with leading food science and technology organisation, Campden BRI, shows that storing frozen food at -15oC, instead of the industry standard -18oC (Zero degrees Fahrenheit), could reduce freezer energy consumption by more than 10 per cent without any noticeable impact on product safety, texture, taste or nutrition of the frozen food products.
“Nine products were tested in the pilot including poultry, coated fish, natural fish, vegetables, plant based and pizza. Four temperatures (ranging from -18oC up to -9oC) and eight key areas including food safety, texture, nutrition, energy use and packaging impact were tested.
“Results showed no significant change to the products across the areas tested at any of the higher temperatures with the following exceptions. There was some change in sensory for Mixed Veg at -9oC and Salmon Fillets at -12oC. There was also some impact on Vitamin C for vegetable products when stored at the highest temperature -9oC,” states the report, adding that for every 3oC increase in temperature there is a drop in freezer energy consumption of 10-11 per cent.
Stéfan Descheemaeker, Nomad Foods’ Chief Executive Officer, said, “Clarence Birdseye pioneered frozen food technology almost 100 years ago and as we approach the anniversary of his ground-breaking innovation, frozen food is more than ever a great choice for consumers and a great choice for the planet.
“This new pilot study with Campden BRI shows that we have the potential to significantly reduce energy use when storing frozen products, without reformulating. Delivered at scale, this could revolutionise our industry and deliver substantial energy use and cost reductions for manufacturers, food retailers and consumers and further reduce the carbon footprint of frozen food products.
“This is not something that we can deliver on our own and so we look forward to sharing our results with trade bodies, retail partners and other key stakeholders to explore opportunities for broader collaboration.”