Palsgaard has developed a new type of plant-based anti-fog coating that keeps food fresh for a longer time.
Sustainable Development Goals at play
• SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
• Target 12.3: Halve global per capita food waste
• By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.
They are supposed to tempt customers: ready-made salads, fresh meals and sliced vegetables in the cold counter. However, that is not always the case. According to the UK organisation WRAP, up to 40 per cent of all green convenience food is thrown directly in the bin, partly because of condensation in the packaging that makes the food unattractive to look at. The Danish food ingredient manufacturer Palsgaard would like to change that, says CEO Jakob Thøisen:
“We have long known that inadequate packaging results in a huge waste of fresh food in supermarkets. In fact, our customers began to ask us if it was a challenge we would like to take on. That created a clear motivation to shake things up and look at brand new types of solutions.”
For Palsgaard, the solution is a special coating specifically developed for plastic packaging, such as salad containers. The coating causes condensed water to not accumulate as large drops but rather as a completely thin transparent film.
“The new coating is 100 per cent plant based, food approved, sustainable, produced on CO2-neutral facilities and even competitive on price compared to non-sustainable alternatives. By spraying or rolling it on, packaging manufacturers can create a completely different visual expression of the products that are kept in the cold counter. Furthermore, the products remain fresher for a longer time as the coating results in a more appropriate distribution of condensed water.”
According to Jakob Thøisen, aligning the new coating with the Sustainable Development Goals was an easy decision:
“It is estimated that about one-third of all food produced in the world ends in the trash bin. Because Palsgaard is a global company with sales offices throughout the world, we can actually make a difference. There is no doubt that sustainable packaging innovation is a significant weapon in the fight against food waste.”
Being a part of SDG Accelerator for SMEs has provided Palsgaard with a number of important tools, says Jakob Thøisen:
“The SDG Accelerator certainly became a strong gathering point for the entire organisation in accelerating development and taking some major steps faster than we would have otherwise done. At the same time, we have met some extremely skilled facilitators who have given us important knowledge about systematic business development.”
According to Jakob Thøisen, the next step for Palsgaard is to intensify the dialogue with customers for an even deeper market understanding:
“When you develop a new product, you partly move into a new market. We are looking forward to many exciting dialogues with both current and future customers. The biggest market potential is without doubt in Asia and the United States, so we also operate over large geographical distances. But the commercial potential is clearly present. We get positive reactions everywhere we go, and our product has actually already been sold.”
In spite of the positive outlook, Palsgaard has even greater ambitions for the coating, says Jakob Thøisen:
“Think of swimming goggles that do not steam up. Think of car mirrors or the millions of electronic rack cabinets that should be kept dry at all costs. Or solar panels with unwanted morning dew. The possibilities of coating are endless, and we have just scratched the surface of different applications. That is certainly also the key learning from working with the Sustainable Development Goals: You start somewhere, decide to make a difference and end up opening the door to something even bigger.”
This is how Palsgaard contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals
- Palsgaard has developed a durable and plant-based anti-fog coating for industrial food packaging, which keeps food fresher for a long time, thus helping to reduce food waste.
- Through its global presence, Palsgaard will market the product worldwide with a particular focus on the major packaging manufacturers in Asia and the United States.
Facts about Palsgaard
- Established in 1919.
- Approximately 500 employees.
- Foundation ownership.
- Sales in more than 100 countries
”It is estimated that about one-third of all food production in the world ends in the trash bin. Because Palsgaard is a global company with sales offices throughout the world, we can actually make a difference. There is no doubt that packaging innovation is a significant weapon in the fight against food waste.”
Jakob Thøisen, CEO, Palsgaard
SDG Accelerator for SMEs
- SDG Accelerator for SMEs is an innovation programme for small and medium-sized industrial enterprises created by the UNDP in 2018 with support from the Danish Industry Foundation. The programme focusses on developing and accelerating business solutions addressing the Sustainable Development Goals. The programme is implemented in collaboration with Deloitte and is tested in Denmark in 2018-2019 with 30 SMEs, after which the aim is to roll out in other countries.