Food & beverage – art or science?

It’s easy to understand that art plays an important role in the food and beverage industry; creativity and imagination are essential in packaging and advertising, as well as in product development. At Vaisala, however, we believe that science plays the dominant role: development of measurement technologies; helping with product formulation; optimizing processes; protecting safety; ensuring quality; enabling product consistency; and empowering sustainability. Looking forward, how will science help the industry overcome its latest challenges?

A limited shelf-life for many products imposes extra risk for the food and beverage industry, and makes it more vulnerable to supply chain problems. Therefore, there is a strong demand for measures to improve resilience and protect business continuity. Coupled with cost and sustainability issues, supply chains need to be short, fast, safe, and traceable. As well as sustainable products, consumers are also looking for better packaging, with less reliance on plastics.

Consumer demand for safe, healthy, nutritious food continues to grow.  Manufacturers are therefore under growing pressure to provide better information on labelling; especially for ingredients with health considerations such as sugar, salt, and calorific content. Consumers are also increasingly looking for products with a low carbon footprint, and this is driving the growth in meat alternatives, for example. Carbon footprint information is being requested by retailers; frequently this now includes Scope 3 emissions, which are those that arise outside of their own operations.

With global energy and food prices soaring, food and beverage manufacturers are experiencing both environmental and financial pressures to improve energy efficiency, reduce waste and increase the use of renewable energy – wind, solar and biogas.

Science is offering solutions to all the challenges outlined above, and Vaisala is actively involved in many of them. For example, Vaisala is the world’s leading manufacturer of meteorological equipment; enabling scientists to track climate change and extreme weather. In addition, Vaisala’s industrial measurement instruments enable better management of food and beverage processes, which:

Vaisala technologies are employed extensively in the food and beverage industry, and many examples are given below, but in comparison with Vaisala’s global reputation in the meteorological business, the company is less well known – and may be one of the food and beverage industry’s best kept secrets, but most powerful assets.