Digital Re-print November | December 2013
Fit-for-purpose grain and feed packaging: an
environmental perspective
Grain & F...
FEATURE

Fit-for-purpose grain and feed packaging:
an environmental perspective
by Michael Bonin
packaging technologist
Ca...
FEATURE
bally is handled in bulk, a significant proportion still needs to be packaged and therefore
requires packaging tha...
Anatomy of Tapco Food Grade
Nylon Elevator Bucket
Unequaled Strength

FDA-Compliant Resins

Style CC-XD is molded with 35-...
FEATURE
producers that these are issues which every
industry must tackle.
While it may be very tempting to make
intuitive ...
FEATURE

Life cycle assessment

Figure 2: The LCA methodological framework
according to ISO 14040:1997

Life-cycle
assessm...
FEATURE
ical framework. The double-headed arrows
shown in Figure 2 indicating that LCA is an
iterative process, which feed...
LINKS
November - December 2013

This digital Re-print is part of the November | December 2013 edition of Grain & Feed
Mill...
Fit-for-purpose grain and feed packaging: an environmental perspective
Fit-for-purpose grain and feed packaging: an environmental perspective
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Fit-for-purpose grain and feed packaging: an environmental perspective

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Grain and grain product spoilage is an important global food security issue. I recently spoke to the director of an international freight company who had lost over 4 000 tonnes of rice due to the poor quality of woven polypropylene sacks that had been used for packing. The weave had loosened and separated due to defects in the polypropylene strands. This, combined with heavy manual handling in tropical conditions, had resulted in product spillage, moisture ingress and insect infestation.

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Fit-for-purpose grain and feed packaging: an environmental perspective

  1. 1. Digital Re-print November | December 2013 Fit-for-purpose grain and feed packaging: an environmental perspective Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2013 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872 www.gfmt.co.uk
  2. 2. FEATURE Fit-for-purpose grain and feed packaging: an environmental perspective by Michael Bonin packaging technologist Campden BRI, UK G rain and grain product spoilage is an important global food security issue. I recently spoke to the director of an international freight company who had lost over 4 000 tonnes of rice due to the poor quality of woven polypropylene sacks that had been used for packing. The weave had loosened and separated due to defects in the polypropylene strands. This, combined with heavy manual handling in tropical conditions, had resulted in product spillage, moisture ingress and insect infestation. These kinds of problems are not isolated. According to UN estimates, more than 40 percent of losses occur in developing countries during post-harvest handling and processing where the packaging of grain and grain products is a major challenge for producers. In financial terms, grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa could represent as much as US$ 4 billion (Gustavsson et al, 2011). On a global scale, cereal production is projected to keep up with an estimated annual demand of 2 600 million tonnes by 2020 (OECD-FAO, 2011), but with a growing world population expected to reach 9.1 billion by 2050, a 70 percent increase in global food production will be required – including an increase in cereal production to 3 000 million tonnes per annum (UN FAO, 2009). While multifaceted solutions and approaches are required to solve these problems, packaging plays a major role in ensuring food security and safety and is crucial in reducing loss and wastage at all stages of the grain and grain product supply chain in both developing and industrialised regions. Although much of the grain produced glo- 10 | november - december 2013 Case study Arodo by Bob Berghans, Arodo BVBA. Belgium The objective of any producer is to set up an efficient line that meets quality, time and economic objectives to be able to maintain its competitive position in the market. A flour producing company in the Antwerp region thought exactly that, and was looking to install a packaging line for its new plant. Keeping that in mind, they began searching for the best possible solution. After conducting general market research and having drawn up a short supplier list, it was the Belgian firm Arodo that offered the most appropriate answer to their specific demand, a filling, palletising and stretchhooding line. At the first stage the empty flat bag is labelled and attached to the filling spout. The flour drops from the silo through a screw dosing and gross weighing system in order to fill the bag to exact specifications. Tight fastening to the filling spout prevents waste and any escape of dust. The pinch bag is conveyed to the closing section using a unique transport device to guarantee accurate and reliable presentation of the stretched sack top. At this stage it is closed in three different steps while being continuously held by the gripping sledge arms. The top is folded, and then the glued bag top is first heated and then cooled to make a seal. From there, the conveyor belt takes the bag through the metal detecting device and on to the palletising section. In palletising, different options can be offered depending on the stacking required. In this case, the best solution was a system combining the advantages of a robot and a conventional palletiser in one. It is ideal for overlapped palletising of different sack dimensions caused by fluctuating weighments and product densities. Furthermore, a stable pallet is created through the overlapped sack positioning that also enables pallet layers to be formed on coordinates inboard of the pallet, helping reduce damage caused by overhang. Put simply, every layer of bags lying on the ‘table’ is gently put onto the underlayer by opening the table layer. A very precise and secure finished pallet is also achieved by applying side and top pressure. Additionally, each empty pallet is given a plastic layer to prevent any ingress of moisture. Last stage in the line is stretchhooding the pallet. It is absolutely waterproof and therefore gives optimal protection against all weather conditions, as well as localised dust ingress. Stretching the hood utilises ‘film memory’, which provides pallet load stablisation for safer transportation. Arodo was founded 25 years ago by Henk Marien and Diet Doormaal, and now employs over 120 people specialising in engineering, drawing and construction. The Belgium-based company has a reputation for expertise in the design and production of customised packing machines, which are sold worldwide. &feed millinG technoloGy Grain
  3. 3. FEATURE bally is handled in bulk, a significant proportion still needs to be packaged and therefore requires packaging that is fit for purpose. Grain and grain product spoilage factors can be grouped into three main categories: • Physical losses caused by spillages, which occur due to the use of faulty or underspecified packaging materials • Physiological losses including moisture absorption, heating and respiration due to exposure to high humidity, temperature and oxygen, as well as physical taint and taint from odours • Biological losses due to micro-organisms, insects and rodents The basic functions of any packaging for cereal and cereal products include: • Containment – to protect the contents from spillage • Protection against external environmental conditions such as humidity • Protection from insect infestation and pests • Protection from external odour and taint • Ability to withstand mechanical hazards during transportation • Ease of handling and stacking to optimise the use of available space In addition, the packaging should be economical and may be required to help promote brand awareness through the addition of graphic designs and printing processes. Figure 1: Potential environmental impacts of underpackaging and over-packaging Over recent decades, developments in grain and feed packaging have gone a long way towards fulfilling these functions. We have seen advances in materials from sacks made from traditional jute and natural fibres, multiwall paper, high density woven polyethylene or polypropylene sacks, to packaging made from advanced polymers which have allowed down-gauging (reducing the amount of material used) and weight reduction of materials while maintaining equivalent package strength. Environmental factors as drivers for development The main drivers for these developments have generally been cost reductions and performance improvements of materials and sealing systems, which have advanced alongside the development of high-speed filling lines. Major cost reductions have also been achieved through the use of efficient packaging, which has helped to reduce product spoilage and wastage during distribution and storage. However, in recent years an additional and growing set of drivers have emerged which may influence the choice of packaging. These drivers are the environmental concerns surrounding packaging in all production sectors. Environmental issues have now become drivers in their own right, due to increased regulation, greater public awareness, and an increased recognition from The right storage solution starts with the right advice. westeel.com | Canada (Home Office) +1-204-233-7133 | United States +1-701-280-2467 | Spain +34 91 216 14 97 & 22565 Westeel Global Campaign 2013 GFMT March.indd 1 Grain feed millinG technoloGy Westeel: Global Campaign 2013 MF22565-0313 Storage decisions can affect your operation for decades. That’s why so many companies around the world trust Westeel with their storage needs. Not only do we supply some of the most advanced storage products available, we support our products with the expert project leadership and sound engineering advice necessary to ensure that the decisions you make today continue to serve your company well for years to come. 2013-03-25 3:02 november - december 2013 | 11 PM
  4. 4. Anatomy of Tapco Food Grade Nylon Elevator Bucket Unequaled Strength FDA-Compliant Resins Style CC-XD is molded with 35-50% more resin throughout the entire bucket – not just at critical wear points – for superior strength and long life. Nonmetallic resin will never oxidize or corrode. Will not leach into or affect the integrity of * ingredients used for food products. Minimal Cross Contamination • • Precision molds create smooth non-porous surfaces and seamless construction. • • • Lighter weight aids in mounting buckets and reduces load on belt and running components. Straight sides, high end CC design and rounded front lip provide clean discharge with less damage to the commodity. • • Ease of Maintenance Nutrients Stay Intact • STYLE CC-XD (XTREME DUTY) Impact-Modified Nylon Elevator Bucket Wears Better, Lasts Longer Highest grade prime virgin resins for unequaled impact strength and superior abrasion resistance. Accurate Capacity Ratings Tough & Flexible Equal or greater carrying capacity of equivalent size steel buckets. Engineered design allows close bucket spacing for more product delivery per hour. Prime virgin resins “give” or “yield” to bypass obstructions in your elevator, allowing the bucket to return to its original shape. FDA-compliant Polyethylene and Urethane resin is standard. FDA-compliant Nylon resin available by special request. Over 900,000 buckets in 93 sizes, 6 materials, 12 styles -- plus 15 million elevator bolts in stock. ELEVATOR BUCKETS - ELEVATOR BOLTS St. Louis, Missouri U.S.A. Tel.: +1 314 739 9191 • +1 800 AT TAPCO (+1 800 288 2726) • Fax: +1 314 739 5880 www.tapcoinc.com *Statement based on our current level of knowledge and covers the above mentioned material produced by Tapco Inc. at the date of issue. Since conditions of use are outside of Tapco’s control, Tapco makes no warranties, express or implied, and assumes no liability in connection with any use of this information. Tapco Nylon resin meets U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Regulations Title 21 CFR177.1500, 21 CFR175.105, 21 CFR178.2010 and 21 CFR177.300. © 2013 Tapco Inc.® All rights reserved.
  5. 5. FEATURE producers that these are issues which every industry must tackle. While it may be very tempting to make intuitive assumptions as to which type of packaging will be “greener”, these are at best merely guesses which can often include myths based on an incomplete understand- Case study: Robotic packing transforms production at G Owen & Sons by Bev Small, Pacepacker Services, UK A pre-owned robotic solution has increased the production efficiency of copackers G Owen & Sons by 100 percent, bringing them a fully automated production and enabling the Wales-based company to meet their customer’s tight delivery timeframes. Pacepacker Services installed the FANUC 420 Blu-Robot, which is now stacking over 4,000 bags of animal feed per day and has overcome previous issues of inaccurate stacking due to different density levels caused by the wide range of feed types being bagged. As pre-owned models are typically half the cost of a new robot, G Owen & Sons will see a return on investment in less than 12 months. On an annual basis G Owen & Sons contract pack over 30,000 tonnes of animal feed for distributors to sell direct to farmers or merchants across the UK. The feed, which is predominantly for farm animals, is offered in a range of up to 100 different types, and is packed within bags from 20 to 25 kg in weight. However, the vast range of food types used causes filled bags to distend differently, which resulted in inaccurate stacking by the original layer palletiser. Company director Murray Owen explains: “Although it could meet our output requirements, the layer palletiser was having difficulty in neatly stacking our wide range of products and as a result we were having to manually align the bags to ensure that we had well-presented stacks of up to 50 bags per pallet. With the additional demand from customers for next day delivery, it was essential that we replaced the palletiser to make the line more efficient.” Pacepacker, a FANUC strategic partner, had installed a robot onto one of G Owen & Sons’ coal packing lines over a decade before. As a result they renewed contact with them with a view to replacing the existing palletiser and overcome the stacking issue. To meet G Owen & Sons’ budget constraints, Pacepacker came to the solution of a Blu-Robot (a pre-owned FANUC 420) was installed within the factory. “The original layering palletiser, while having the ability to run at the desired 12 | november - december 2013 ing of the issues. A key question which must be addressed from the outset is how is it possible to quantify and compare the environmental profiles of different packaging materials? Even if we assume that different packaging formats are capable of performing the speed, created issues due to the inaccuracy of the stacking which was caused by the differing densities within the packed bag,” explains Pacepacker sales manager Chris Francis. “To overcome this problem we fitted a gripper arm onto the robot which has the added benefit of being able to effectively grip and neatly place the bags onto the pallet.” “The end effecter also offers the robot the added ability to switch easily between stacking different bag sizes, dependent on the product option selected from a pre-programmed list of recipes which we implemented prior to installation.” Not only has line’s efficiency improved by 100 percent, the installation of the BluRobot has eliminated the need for manual labourers to manipulate the stacked pallet, resulting in a fully automated line. “Within our budget constraints, we wanted a versatile robotic system that would increase the efficiency and presentation of our packing line, which with little human intervention would quickly switch between the different bag sizes dependent on our customer demands,” says Murray Owen. “At half the cost of a new system, Pacepacker’s pre-owned FANUC has provided us with an affordable solution; we should see a return on our investment in just under 12 months.” An active member of the British Automation and Robot Association (BARA), Pacepacker launched the economical Blu-Robot in support of the association’s Automating Manufacturing Programme, which aims to increase robot uptake in the UK, and is aimed at automation-shy small to medium enterprise manufacturers and seasonal packers. The pre-owned FANUC 420 installed within G Owen & Sons is approximately 10 percent of the way through its expected operational lifespan of at least 100 000 hours. Pacepacker’s Chris Francis is positive about the potential of pre-owned solutions. “Through the Blu-Robot G Owen & Sons has received a solution which has 90 percent of its minimum expected lifespan still left in the tank. As a testament to the longevity of the robots, Pacepacker installed a FANUC robotic palletiser within their own factory over a decade ago, and the company has recently recorded a palletising weight achievement on this robot of one million tones.” same functions, the empty packs may have different weights (with associated transport implications), different recycled and recyclable contents, and be capable of different filling line speeds which may require a varying number of filling lines to achieve an equivalent level of production. In fact, no packaging material has a monopoly on environmental virtues. Provided it is fit for purpose in helping prevent product spoilage, all packaging can make a positive contribution to sustainability. It is obviously in nobody’s interest to over-package grain products and so in this respect the producer and environmentalist are in full agreement. However, while lightweighting and down-gauging can improve the environmental profile of packaging up to a certain point, under-packaging will not if the result is increased product wastage, spoilage or a reduction in product quality, then this under-packaging will not deliver the benefits. Figure 1 shows the spectrum of over-packaging and under-packaging plotted against potential environmental impacts. Figure 1 illustrates that there is an optimal level of packaging required, above which excess materials are wasted with associated transport and disposal impacts. Below this optimal level, under-specified packaging materials may not fulfil their protection or preservation functions and so could be completely wasted if their contents are spoiled. More significantly under this scenario, any product losses occurring as a result of underpackaging include all the embedded environmental impacts (energy, water use, emissions to air and land etc) associated with grain production. While it could be argued that these production impacts will occur whether the grain is wasted or not, if a food resource is disposed of and fails to reach its intended consumers then more food will have to be produced to replace it. In addition, disposal impacts from grain losses may include carbon dioxide and methane emissions, both of which are global warming gasses. That situation is described by the curve to the left of the optimal point in Figure 1. It rises much more sharply than the curve to the right, reflecting the greater potential environmental impacts of under-packaging. Therefore, packaging technologists generally err on the side of caution, preferring to specify packaging toward the upper end of the optimal range rather than under-specifying and risking product wastage, which would increase both cost and environmental impacts significantly. Clearly the environmental issues surrounding grain packaging are just as complex as those of any other sector and we should be wary of over-simplification. Methods to systematically quantify the environmental profiles of different packaging systems do exist, but these can be time-consuming and costly to conduct. &feed millinG technoloGy Grain
  6. 6. FEATURE Life cycle assessment Figure 2: The LCA methodological framework according to ISO 14040:1997 Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a family of tools and techniques underpinned by the ISO 14040 series of standards, designed to assist in environmental management and sustainable development in the long term. LCA is generally considered to be one of the most important environmental analysis tools for evaluating aspects associated with products, processes or activities throughout their entire life cycles. In the case of packaging, LCA can encompass all associated activities, from extraction of raw materials to processing, manufacturing, use and re-use, right through to final disposal. The LCA methodology is a structured framework that specifies the required data, methods of calculation and the procedure of its interpretation. This involves description of the system to be assessed, production of an inventory of inputs and outputs associated with that system, translation of this inventory data into potential environmental impacts, and finally, evaluation of the results in order to facilitate decision-making. Figure 2 gives a broad overview to the technique, illustrating the separate stages of the LCA methodolog- AnimalFeedConfAd2013_landscp_Layout 1 30/10/2013 16:01 Page 1 Safety and quality of livestock feed seminar Full programme and book at www.campdenbri.co.uk/livestock-feed-seminar.php Campden BRI food and drink innovation Organised by Campden BRI in collaboration with AG Industries, Grain & Feed Milling Technology and International Aquafeed Thursday 6 March 2014 Venue: Campden BRI, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6LD, UK The seminar will focus on: • Understanding the current issues facing the animal feed industry. • The latest R&D in the animal feed sector. • Future issues facing the animal feed sector. • Solutions for a sustainable animal feed chain. &feed millinG technoloGy Grain www.campdenbri.co.uk #LivestockFeedSeminar E: training@campdenbri.co.uk november - december 2013 | 13
  7. 7. FEATURE ical framework. The double-headed arrows shown in Figure 2 indicating that LCA is an iterative process, which feeds back upon itself throughout its separate stages. To a considerable extent, LCA studies rely on the quantity and quality of data used at the inventory stage and this is naturally reflected in the quality of the final LCA results. Often, both published and site-specific data are used to develop an inventory. However the data are obtained, the inventory analysis is generally the most time-consuming stage of LCA studies and is often a limiting factor for wider LCA application. For this reason, the majority of those conducting or commissioning LCA studies are generally large, well-resourced organisations with the greater ability to actively aim for longterm development of their businesses. Whether grain producers and packers have the time and resources to conduct complex LCA studies on which to base their choices of packaging materials and methods will vary from organisation to organisation. However, both in terms of economic and environmental performance, ensuring that packaging is fit for purpose is essential for all organisations of any size. While over-specified packaging may be both environmentally and economically wasteful, it is not nearly as wasteful as packaging which turns out to be under-specified. Thus a balance must be struck in order to optimise packaging. Packaging testing Achieving an optimal packaging balance requires some understanding of the properties of the packaging materials and the integrity of the filled package. These specifications may come from the packaging suppliers and can be tested by packaging testing laboratories which conduct examination and assessment in multiple aspects of packaging to ensure that it performs to specification and is fit for purpose. Food processing and packaging are increasingly viewed as an integrated whole and consideration of that collective as well as each individual aspect is essential in assuring product quality and safety. Not only must the packaging retain its integrity and have the correct physiochemical properties to fulfil its functions, but it must also ensure that the quality of the product is not impaired by taints. Campden BRI’s Packaging Testing Laboratory specialises in all types of food packaging and works in close conjunction with other disciplines within the organisation, such as food microbiology, microscopy and migration (food contact) testing. This multidisciplinary approach provides analyses and solutions across all areas of the food industry. Our expertise in all these food packaging areas provides a holistic approach while viewing packaging innovations in the context of wider industrial developments. As well as advising on packaging suitability we M lling have a range of packaging analysis facilities that include all aspects of mechanical testing and also chemical and sensory taint analysis capabilities. The objectives of this work are to assist in achieving the correct balance of fit-for-purpose packaging for our clients, which in the broader sense helps to reduce the environmental impacts of packaging and food production. References: Available on request About the author Dr Michael Bonin is a Packaging Technologist at Campden BRI with a research background in the properties of starch-based plastic foams and their commercial application. He has experience in package transit testing which provides a practical understanding of the relationship between packaging materials and their distribution environment. Michael also has experience in environmental profiling of renewable and biodegradable materials by means of life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Michael’s main research interests are in the field of packaging for the food industry and environmental technology. The premier resource for the global milling industry International Directory Get the IMD on your smart phone twenty two ONLINE | PRINT | MOBILE i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i 14 | november - december 2013 i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i international milling .com 2013/14 &feed millinG technoloGy Grain
  8. 8. LINKS November - December 2013 This digital Re-print is part of the November | December 2013 edition of Grain & Feed Milling Technology magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full online magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features on the docstoc website. Please click here to view our other publications on www.docstoc.com. first published in 1891 • • Fit-for-purpose grain and feed packaging: an environmental perspective • • Organic feeds: the future for sustainable poultry farming? • See the full issue Visit the GFMT website • Contact the GFMT Team • Subscribe to GFMT In this issue: • Single or twinscrew extruder: what are the options? • Animal feeding in the future: reaching genetic potential through smarter nutrition? PORTS: VIGAN industry report • Market-aware farming: commodities training at Writtle College INCORPORATING PORTS, DISTRIBUTION AND FORMULATION A subscription magazine for the global flour & feed milling industries - first published in 1891 To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paper edition please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link adove. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE Article reprints All Grain & Feed Milling Tecchnology feature articles can be re-printed as a 4 or 8 page booklets (these have been used as point of sale materials, promotional materials for shows and exhibitions etc). If you are interested in getting this article re-printed please contact the GFMT team for more information on - Tel: +44 1242 267707 - Email: jamest@gfmt.co.uk or visit www.gfmt.co.uk/reprints www.gfmt.co.uk

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