Food waste is a shame – it is a drain on our resources and economy. It’s taking a huge toll on the environment as well. Fresh water, pesticides and fuel are being used to produce food that is wasted – and the rotting food waste is responsible for millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions. 

At the same time the price of ingredients is rising, but worse yet, is that while one third of all food is wasted globally, the United Nations estimates that one in nine people in the world do not have access to enough food to lead a healthy life. It’s not hard to agree that food waste should be reduced by all means.

Bread is part of the solution

The good news is that there is (a lot of) room for improvement – and we can all contribute to bringing down our food waste. It is estimated that in 2010 we generated 133 billion pounds of food waste in the US, worth $161 billion. Those are truly staggering numbers. Looking only at grain products (breads, cereals, rice, etc), the Natural Resources Defense Council has estimated that 38% of grain products are thrown out.

The main reason is staling or mold contamination. Of course, breads and pastries are neither enjoyable nor salable when they have lost their outer crispness or become dry on the inside. A fact that we can all agree on – no matter how much we are against food waste.

This is why Lantmännen Unibake is building knowledge on how to keep a crispy crust and moist crumb. We invest in research aimed at cutting waste by keeping bread and pastry products fresher for longer.

Improved crispiness reduces waste

The other good news is that there are several approaches to improving fresh-keeping. That is why Lantmännen Unibake carry out research in order to find ways to delay the drying process. This involves:

  • Understanding the fundamental mechanisms, the level of crispiness, and what causes staling to occur
  • Developing crispier crusts by experimenting with new types of flour
  • Altering baking temperatures and times
  • Utilizing various oven moisture settings
  • Ensuring that the moisture evaporation from bread crumb does not soften the crust
  • Developing techniques for cooling bread so that the crust is significantly crisper and less flaky after final baking
  • Examining the storage’s impact on freshness and crispiness
  • Innovating package technology to prevent bread from staling

This contributes valuable knowledge to the world of bread, and customers benefit from the research.“When we can get both improved crispiness and softness in the system, we have a much higher chance of reducing waste. Our goal is to do that without adding chemical preservatives,” says Christian Malmberg, Food Research & Development project manager at Lantmännen.

At Lantmännen Unibake we are committed to taking concrete action throughout our value chain to reduce food waste in our business. Furthermore, we have committed ourselves to take steps that can help consumers waste less food – thereby making a small but hopefully meaningful contribution to cutting down food waste.

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This is how to treat pastries like royalty