Q&A with John Mandyck, Chief Sustainability Officer, United Technologies Corporation

John Mandyck is chief sustainability officer for United Technologies Corporation, a global leader in the aerospace, food refrigeration and commercial building industries. He co-authored the book Food Foolish, which explores the connection between food waste, hunger and climate change.

Q: How would you summarize the significance of the cold chain to our global problem of food waste?

A: Two thirds of all losses occur at the production and distribution level of the global food chain, while five of the top six lost and wasted food categories are perishable foods that supply humankind with a majority of its necessary vitamins and nutrients.

Despite this, only 10 percent of global perishable foods are refrigerated–the very foods that can benefit most from refrigeration technologies that are readily available today. So the cold chain is essential to extending the world’s food supply. An expanded cold chain also has additional climate benefits, because research shows that for every ton of carbon eliminated by growing the cold chain in emerging economies, there is a 10-ton reduction in GHG emissions associated with food loss and waste.

Q: How has the cold chain advanced since the turn of the century? 

A: Cold chain technology has improved vastly over the last several decades. Carrier, a United Technologies company, provides transport refrigeration systems by land and by sea, as well stationary systems for supermarkets. Today we offer solutions that allow for precise control of temperature and humidity, preserving all types of perishable cargo no matter where it needs to go, or stay. At the same time, we’ve advanced environmental technologies, such as the use of CO2 as a natural refrigerant which can reduce the carbon footprint of marine container refrigeration by 28 percent.

Q: What opportunities exist for cold chain improvement? 

A: Cold chain improvement can result in less wasted food, and there are several big opportunities that present themselves when we take steps to reduce food waste. We can help get more nutritious food to those in need, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save water. The world has the capability today of feeding 10 billion people, but 800 million are chronically undernourished while two billion suffer from malnutrition because up to 40 percent of all food is lost or wasted. Food loss creates 4.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually which, if measured as a country, would be the world’s third largest emitter of GHG emissions behind China. U.S. agriculture requires 70 percent of all freshwater used by humankind, so wasted food is also wasted water. Solving the issue of food loss and waste would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to removing every car from every road every year, and conserve enough water to fulfill the annual water needs of the African continent.

Q: What is the most common misnomer about food waste companies in the cold chain should work together to dispel?

A: Many people believe food waste is a consumer issue alone. While it’s true that the top place we waste food in the U.S. is in the household, globally two-thirds of food is wasted at the production and distribution level – mostly in emerging economies – where implementation of the cold chain can play a big role.

Q: Does government regulation do enough to ensure proper temperature handling?

A: Governments can help in three ways: Provide awareness on the scale and consequence of food waste; Encourage food safety measures that have the additional benefit of avoiding waste; and Work with international finance bodies to provide access to capital to small holder farmers to invest in technologies that can extend food supplies.

Q&A with Anna Canto, Visiting Scholar, University of Kentucky

Anna Canto is currently a Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Kentucky. She came to Kentucky from Rio de Janeiro, where she was a Postdoctoral researcher at Universidade Federal Fluminense, a Brazilian teaching and research university of excellence. Her research has, interestingly, analyzed the effect of high pressure process (HPP) on a growing source of protein in Brazil – caiman tail meat. She and her colleagues have published two studies on the topic: “Effect of high hydrostatic pressure on the color and texture parameters of refrigerated Caiman (Caiman crocodilus yacare) tail meat” in Meat Science Journal; and “Fatty acid profile and bacteriological quality of caiman meat subjected to high hydrostatic pressure” in LWT-Food Science & Technology Journal.

Q: What led you to towards the research? Why caiman meat?

A: Controlled caiman (locals call it jacares) breeding was developing in Brazil, especially in its swampland region, to the point where it had started to become a popular menu option at local restaurants. Food processing-related research was building on alligator meat but there were no such studies involving the use of HPP. We thought this would be a meaningful endeavor, and fortunately we were able to secure grant funding as well as tail meat samples from a hatchery. We performed two HPP studies that were published into two different papers; the first looked into instrumental parameters of color and texture and sensory characteristics while the second looked at bacteriological safety and nutritive value of post-HPP caiman.

Q: What visible effects (color, texture, denaturing) did you notice in your meat samples when they were subjected to varying hydrostatic pressures?

A: Our research evaluated instrumental color and texture profile, and six different sensory parameters: color of the HPP-treated caiman meat (raw as well as cooked), meat flavor, tenderness, succulence, fibrosity (texture) and cohesiveness (also texture). We observed that using lower pressures (200 MPa) there was a positive alteration in the sensory characteristics of the alligator meat, demonstrating the lowest modification on color and decreasing hardness. The pressure level of 200 MPa was found to be the best and most viable treatment within our study’s conditions.

Q: What effect did HPP have when it came to inactivating various bacteria and spoilage organisms? Did you evaluate the samples for shelf-life improvement?

A: HPP improved the bacteriological quality of caiman tail meat, with samples subjected to 400 MPa resulting in the greatest reduction in bacterial load. We also found that HPP eliminated Salmonella spp. in caiman meat, therefore representing a practical alternative to conventional processing methods that improved the safety and extended the shelf-life.

Q: What effect did HPP have when it came to the nutritional value associated with caiman meat?

A: A lot of the caiman meat’s popularity is that it’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in polyunsaturated and n-3 fatty acids in comparison to meat from conventional livestock. Our analysis observed that overall, HPP increased saturated fatty acids and decreased polyunsaturated fatty acids and n-3 family acids, compromising the fatty acid profile of caiman meat.

Q: Do you think more experimentation of processing on certain exotic meats could ultimately improve food security and result in less food being wasted? If yes, please explain.

A: It’s certainly a plausible notion. We often overlook sources of protein we’re not accustomed to, but sometimes non-traditional meats have enviable nutritional qualities and can be farmed more sustainably than conventional livestock. If you look at the caiman, for example, most of its body can be utilized (including its skin which can produce fine leathers) so very little goes to waste. When meats like this are indigenous to a region, it can become a needed source of income for local inhabitants and reduces the costs and environmental inputs otherwise created by importing proteins that aren’t raised nearby.

Chris Voudouris, CFO at Universal, nominated for Georgia Manufacturing Extension Parternship’s Faces of Manufacturing Award

*This release is provided by the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Please click here for more information: http://gamep.org/faces-of-manufacturing/

VILLA RICA, Ga. (Aug. 9, 2017) — Ten Georgians, including Chris Voudouris, chief financial
officer of Universal Pasteurization and Universal Cold Storage in Villa Rica, Georgia, have
been selected as finalists in the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s (GaMEP)
Faces of Manufacturing campaign.

The Top 10, including Voudouris, received the most votes during the initial voting round.
These finalists will now compete in the final round. The three individuals who garner the
most votes will be announced during the week of Oct. 3, corresponding with National
Manufacturing Day and will receive the coveted 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award during
an event at their facility.

Voting begins Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017 at 9 a.m., and continues through 4 p.m. on Aug. 23.
To cast a vote for your favorite candidate, please go to any of these links:
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GaMEPGT/
-Votes will be calculated directly on Facebook for: Likes, Loves, Wows on
original post (as well as on shared posts – as long as post is shared from
GaMEP page)
• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/16172031/
-Votes will be calculated directly on LinkedIn for: Likes
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/GaMEPGT
-Votes will be calculated directly on Twitter for: Media Engagements, Likes,
– YouTube: https://youtu.be/_iN-PDLlFIw
-Votes will be calculated directly on YouTube for: Likes
– GaMEP Website: http://gamep.org/faces-of-manufacturing/
-On this page, click the link to show all videos, allowing you to vote through
Survey Monkey.

Now in its third year, the GaMEP’s Faces initiative showcases the sector’s importance to
the Georgia economy. The industry employs more than 365,000 at 10,000 manufacturing
companies of all sizes across Georgia. Collectively, the industry has a total manufacturing
output of $53 billion per year.

GaMEP, a federally funded economic development program at the Georgia Institute of
Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, works with manufacturers across the state to
help them remain viable and economically competitive.

“Our finalists really underscore the strength of Georgia’s manufacturing sector with
candidates in industries ranging from aviation, electronics, and agriculture to flooring,
automotive, and beverages,” said GaMEP Director Karen J. Fite. “Our Faces are a reflection
of all the dedicated men and women in Georgia whose work in the industry make it the
vibrant and strong contributor to the Georgia economy that it is.”

About the Faces of Manufacturing in Georgia:
The Faces of Manufacturing in Georgia campaign is an initiative of the Georgia
Manufacturing Extension Partnership that honors the people who work in or are affected by
manufacturing in Georgia. For more information, please visit gamep.org/faces-of-manufacturing/

About the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP):
The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is an economic development
program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The
GaMEP is a member of the National MEP network supported by the National Institute of
Standards and Technology. With offices in ten regions across the state, the GaMEP has
been serving Georgia manufacturers since 1960. It offers a solution-based approach to
manufacturers through training and onsite implementation designed to increase top line
growth and reduce bottom line cost. For more information, visit: gamep.org

Q&A with Research Team Studying Ability of HPP and Thermosonication to Inactivate AAT Spores in Orange Juice

The June 2015 edition of Food Control Journal looked at the ability of HPP to serve as an effective pre-treatment when trying to inactivate the spores of Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris. A representative from the research team, which involved researchers in both New Zealand and Indonesia, answered a few questions. Their research study can be purchased here.

Q: Describe your research, namely your published article “High pressure processing pretreatment enhanced the thermosonication inactivation of Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris.”

A: Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris (AAT) is a long name for a big problem to juice manufacturers. This gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium is very durable and hard to detect. It can grow at a wide pH level (between 2 and 7) and broad temperature (25–60°C) range. Its spores are known to survive thermal pasteurization, and in comparison to major spoilage microbes found in high-acid shelf-stable foods, it exhibits very high heat resistance, requiring novel treatment approaches. Because limited information exists on the inactivation of AAT by power ultrasound, especially on spores, our research team analyzed the effect of thermosonication (a process that simultaneously employs ultrasound and heat shock) on store-bought orange juice that was deliberately inoculated with AAT. We also ​experimented with pre-treatment of the juice with High Pressure Processing before thermosonication. Interestingly, we concluded that the samples that had undergone HPP treatment prior to thermosonication clearly provided the best recipe for spore inactivation of all our samples.

Q: What effects on spore presence did you observe in the orange juice samples?

A: The thermosonication of orange juice pre-treated with HPP at a pressure of 600 MPa for 15 min was the best technique to inactivate A. acidoterrestris spores in our study. However, a higher thermosonication temperature might improve the pasteurization efficiency.

Q: What visual and sensory effects did you observe in your juice samples when they were subjected to HPP? Did you evaluate the impact on shelf-life?

A: Thermosonication required at least 8°C lower temperatures than conventional thermal pasteurization to achieve the same spore inactivation. Theoretically, this lower temperature could enhance juice quality in addition to saving energy. However, while our study demonstrated the advantage of high pressure-assisted thermosonication for the inactivation of AAT spores in orange juice, we did not specifically analyze juice sensory/quality attributes or shelf-life preservation. Further research would be needed to investigate those qualities.

Q: Do you think HPP-aided thermosonication is commercially viable? Could it ultimately result in less beverages being wasted?

A: It might be viable but in order to be implemented efficiently and to facilitate quick inactivation of AAT spores, the ultrasound unit would need to allow for working at a higher temperature. For example, we found that a process of 15 min only reduced AAT by 1 log. By increasing the temperature or acoustic power, this inactivation rate could also be higher.

The other limitation of ultrasound is that it requires new machines designed to produce at a commercial scale. To my knowledge, it is currently only employed in academic laboratories for research.

Q: What do you think is/are the most important next step(s) to facilitate more adoption of HPP as a food processing and preservation method?

A: HPP is a ready-to-use commercial technology, but improving the price of large-scale units would enhance commercial adoption.

More attempts could also certainly be done with the combination of HPP pre-treatment and thermal processing. Achieving at least 6 log reductions for microorganisms such as A. acidoterrestris is very difficult, so any success from other combinations of pressure, ultrasound and heat technologies that can lead to quick inactivation of AAT will be market-desirable.

Q&A with Dr. Bala Balasubramaniam, Professor, The Ohio State University

Dr. V.M. “Bala” Balasubramaniam is a Professor of Food Engineering with Departments Food Science and Technology and Department of Food Ag Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University. His interest in retaining food freshness through minimal processing approaches led him to study the effect of high pressure processing on almond milk. He and his colleagues published the study, “Effect of high pressure processing on the immunoreactivity of almond milk,” in Food Research International. The article can be purchased here.

Q: Briefly, what led you to towards the research study “Effect of high pressure processing on dispersive and aggregative properties of almond milk”?

A: Our lab has been studying various aspects of high pressure processing since 1995 (http://u.osu.edu/foodsafetyeng/). About six years ago, a number of food processors approached us about HPP for plant-based beverages, such as cashew or almond milk. There wasn’t a lot of literature available on pressure effects on nut proteins, which led us to this study.

Q: What visible effects (color, texture, pH, particle size) did you notice in your almond milk samples when they were subjected to varying pressures?

A: Our study looked at factors like pressure, temperature and holding time in order to document side effects of HPP on almond beverages. Immediately after pressure treatment, we did not notice any difference in color or texture of the sample. However, if you allow the sample to store over time, we could see a clear separation between sediments versus the liquid on top.

Q: What effect did HPP have when it came to inactivating various spoilage organisms? Did you evaluate the samples for shelf-life extension?

A: This particular study didn’t focus on bacteria after HPP treatment. Over the years, we have looked at pressure effects on various vegetative forms of bacteria as well as spore forms of bacteria. You need to consider the product acidity. If it’s a low acid type of food matrix, then the process needs to be much more severe. If it’s high acid, treatment intensity can be less severe. With more research we could identify pressure temperature conditions that lead to a safe beverage.

Q: Do you think more experimentation of HPP on various plant-based drinks could ultimately result in less food being wasted? If yes, please explain.

A: Looking at this from the context of U.S. consumers versus developing countries, the source of food waste is different in each case. Developing countries lose more food loss occurs at the farm-level, whereas in the U.S., food makes it past the harvest stage, but is wasted more retail and consumer settings. HPP has potential to help reduce food waste at the retail level. However, we still need more consumer education to kick in to reduce waste at that level.

Q: What do you think is/are the most important next step(s) to facilitate more adoption of HPP as a food processing method?

A: Coming from my perspective in a U.S. academic institution, HPP is one of the revolutionary methods available to food processors to protect foods. In addition, health-conscious consumers want minimally processed foods, so there is a growing interest in the cleaner-label products and reduced additives that HPP can potentially bring forth.

The basic and applied science behind high pressure pasteurization was primarily developed from the mid-70s to 90s. Looking ahead, we have an opportunity for more research around how high pressure processing can help the food processors to formulate extended shelf-life, healthier, cleaner-label products, and facilitate industrial adoption. In the last six years, there has been a decline in funding of academic research around HPP with federal and state budget cuts. Because of a lack of academic funding today, it’s up to the food processors to facilitate stable research funding for academia. Unfortunately, processors don’t have funds for research, so it creates a bad recurring cycle. As the community of food producers, food processors and university researchers, we need to address this challenge by educating policy makers on importance of supporting this line of academic research. By bridging the gap between industry and academia, ultimately consumers benefit by having more availability of healthier and more minimally processed foods.

5 Fixes for Food Waste before Composting

We all know about the food pyramid that shows what we should be eating for a
nutritious meal. But have you ever heard of the food recovery pyramid?
This lesser-known – but just as useful – food figure explains how to reduce food waste.
It’s applicable to every stage of the supply chain, but especially pertinent to individual
consumers and those working in the retail since estimates are that those levels
comprise 80 percent of all food loss.

By learning about the Environmental Protection Agency’s most-preferred steps in its
food recovery diagram, every one of us has the power to save 300 pounds of food from
being tossed in the trash each year!

The EPA’s food recovery hierarchy prioritizes steps to prevent food from getting
discarded, and emphasizes that landfills or incinerators should be a last resort.
Although many people think composting is the best way to reuse food scraps, there’s a
lot of work we can do before we even visit a grocery store. And the first step is learning
about the issue.
1. Reduce unnecessary food production.
Food producers plant more food than necessary as a safeguard against unknown
factors such as pests, disease or weather that could affect the harvest. This extra
food can get tossed out producers can’t find an interested buyer. The first step in
reducing food waste is to only produce food that will actually be used. High
Pressure Processing is an effective step to extend product shelf life – even
doubling it – thus reducing the need for overproducing because of spoilage.
2. Feed your neighbors.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 13 percent of American
households had difficulty supplying their families with food in 2015. An important
step in ensuring extra food gets used includes donating it to food banks and non-
profit organizations, instead of letting it rot in landfills.
3. Feed Fido (and his friends).
Extra food is also useful as animal feed since it’s often less expensive to
repurpose food scraps into animal food rather than sending it to landfills. Scraps
of unsellable food and protein can be blended into animal feed additives for pet
food, saving farmers and zoos money.
4. Support alternative energy sources.
Food waste can also be used to produce heat, electricity and fuel. Decomposing
food scraps go through anaerobic digestion during which microorganisms break
down organic materials. This process produces biogas, which is similar to natural
gas, and soil amendments that are useful as fertilizers.
5. Last chance for relevance – compost the scraps.

After the above options are exhausted, the last step to use food scraps is
composting. Collecting food scraps for composting helps improve soil for the next
generation of crops, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. These options can help us divert food waste and keep refrigerated products on shelves

Seven Shocking Facts about Food Waste

Food waste is a problem for all of us. The effects of food waste are felt across the world, both through the global hunger crisis and through its impact on the environment. The effects of food waste can even be felt by our wallets, as every piece of food in the trash is one that can’t (or at least shouldn’t) be eaten. As a corporation in the food supply chain, we have a responsibility to do all we can reduce food waste. But what is food waste exactly?

Food waste is when we throw out food that is still fit for consumption . It also happens at the retail level, when food is discarded at grocery stores and restaurants. By contrast, food loss is when food is unintentionally lost during production.

Food producers know that some food loss is unavoidable. We can plan for it and try to improve upon it, but there’s no surefire way to eliminate food loss completely. As a result, food producers often just accept food loss and food waste as an unavoidable expense that can’t be helped without ever stopping to consider the magnitude of the problem. We can’t afford to ignore the food waste problem anymore. Here are seven shocking facts about the global impact of food waste:

Worldwide, 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted every year. This amounts to US $1 trillion dollars of wasted or lost food.1 1.3 billion tons of food is enough to feed everyone in the world who goes hungry – four times over.2

An estimated 25 – 40% of food grown, processed and transported in the US will never be consumed.3 This statistic speaks more to food loss. It’s amazing and terrifying how small things like a damaged case of product, an incomplete harvest or food spoilage adds up to create so much waste.

25% of all freshwater in the U.S. is used to produce food that is thrown away.3 In addition to the obvious waste of food, we also waste an enormous amount of water on the food we don’t eat. This is especially true for livestock, as they require huge amounts of water to nurture their growth. Though it’s not remembered, every bit of protein that we lose is costing us a lot of water.

The United States is the number one country in the world that wastes food. Close behind are Australia and Denmark, followed by Switzerland and Canada.3 North American and European countries have more access to food, so it’s natural that more would be wasted in these places. However, that also means these countries need to shoulder the burden and show leadership when it comes to curbing the food waste problem.

Thirty-one percent of the food available at the retail level ends up lost or wasted, corresponding to 60 million tons of food.1 For retailers, this should be concerning. Any food lost or wasted, is food they cannot be sold to consumers. For this reason, retailers prioritize products with longer shelf-lives, which reduce the amount of product that needs to be discarded.

A European or North American consumer wastes almost 100 kilograms of food annually, which is more than his or her weight (70 kilograms.)1 Consumer waste is a significant part of the food waste problem. Every day, consumers throw out thousands of dollars’ worth of perfectly good food because they’re confused by “Best By” dates or they have misconceptions about what spoiled food looks like.

Food waste generates 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide,  which accelerates global climate change.1 As a comparison, the amount of carbon dioxide generated by the entire world, was about 41 billion tons in 2015.5 That puts food waste at about 8% of CO2 emissions globally, and carbon dioxide emissions are currently increasing by about 2 percent year over year.5 Think of the difference we could make by reducing food waste by even a small amount.

While we can’t address all of the problems that contribute to food waste, we can help reduce spoilage post-production by creating products with the longest shelf-lives possible. High pressure processing, or HPP, is one of the newest, most effective technologies to help with this problem as it can double the shelf-life of foods and beverages without the addition of artificial preservatives or large amounts of sodium, creating a longer-shelf life product with a cleaner label.

Chairman’s Foods once froze all of their product because they were concerned about shelf-life. They worked with Universal to implement HPP and have since moved 65% of their product to refrigerators instead of the freezer. They can no extend the shelf life of their products without a freezer, maintaining quality while trimming their food waste expenses..

This example only just scratches the surface of how HPP can help with the food waste dilemma. If you would like to learn more about food waste, high pressure processing and how HPP can improve your products and cut down on your food waste costs, sign up for our webinar, HPP and Food Waste: Get Tasted not Wasted, hosted by Universal Pasteurization: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5000520991696597250




1 https://foodtank.com/news/2015/06/world-environment-day-10-facts-about-food-waste-from-bcfn/ http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/mb060e/mb060e00.pdf

2 https://twitter.com/BarillaCFN/status/722884662398300161/photo/1

3 http://www.feedingamerica.org/about-us/how-we-work/securing-meals/reducing-food-waste.html?gclid=CjwKEAjw8OLGBRCklJalqKHzjQ0SJACP4BHrSrXMm5wV8DsqELkSS9MKiOqpIc1QuPtdFVriTxbA7hoCSE3w_wcB

4 http://www.thinkeatsave.org/index.php/be-informed/fast-facts/14-food-waste-campaign/355-environmental-impact-of-food-waste-in-the-us

5 cdiac.ornl.gov


Universal Press Release- HPP Survey & Webinar Series

A new survey of Americans currently employed in the refrigerated and frozen food industry indicates strong appreciation for the roles high pressure processing (HPP) plays in producing safe foods with cleaner labels and longer shelf lives. HPP is a rapidly growing non-thermal food preservation process that inactivates harmful bacteria and spoilage organisms right within product packages. The online industry survey was commissioned by Universal Pasteurization Company LLC, the country’s largest HPP outsourcing service provider for food and beverage producers.

Read More

USDA finalizes food safety measures to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry.

Article: The USDA now requires that poultry producers take steps to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry products. Universal Pasteurization can help you achieve that requirement today!