Human management

The shift to precision food management

Pandemic. Climate change. War. The world has felt the grip of these forces on our lives. We cannot deny the feeling of uncertainty these questions have created in all of us. Our behaviors were altered and changed forever because of them. Two years ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world, shutdowns began and stores were rocked by high demand and low restocking capacity. As hoarding ensued, supply problems amplified. Businesses and individuals have felt the pressure of low inventory. The lack of use of precision food management may have resulted in loss of food for businesses as well as consumers.

What constitutes Precision Food Management (PFM)? The concept is simple: food preparation that results in optimal conservation and consumption. Bulk freezing is a common practice for food storage and preparation. However, freezing food in the traditional sense can lead to loss of food integrity. Traditional freezing cools a product at a slow rate that allows large ice crystals to form under the microscope. These crystals permeate the cell membrane of the product. Once thawed, the item may have an altered taste and a pasty consistency. Another method of food preservation is quick freezing. Flash freezing cools the product much faster by circulating air at high speed, which reduces the size of the crystals that form on the food product, thereby reducing the amount of cell damage. Foods frozen using a blast chiller will retain the same consistency and flavor when thawed.

The container in which a food product is stored can also be problematic. Freezing food in a loose plastic bag can lead to freezer burn. However, vacuum sealing can help eliminate food waste by reducing the risk of freezer burn. In addition, vacuum sealing extends the shelf life of frozen food by 3-5 times compared to ordinary plastic bags. Vacuum sealing can also be environmentally friendly when a compostable vacuum sealing solution is incorporated, such as VestaEco.

Finally, it’s important to address a not-so-obvious PFM element – precision temperature cooking. If you’re looking for consistent quality and less waste, precision temperature cooking can help. Precision temperature cooking, also known as sous vide cooking, is a unique method of cooking food by immersing it in a water bath. Of course, food safety is paramount – along with education within government agencies and oversight committees so that wider adoption is possible. Yet it is an aspect that should be considered as part of any precision feed management strategy.

Examine your processes and identify how a precision food management plan could help your business and your community. Contact Vesta Precision at sales@vestaprecision.com to learn more about precision device technology and how we are innovators in precision food management.