Tata Steel has developed a mobile canning line concept which, it says, will allow farmers anywhere in the world to process and preserve their produce on site, helping to reduce food loss at source while generating additional revenue.
The United Nations Environment Programme has reported that a third of all food production worldwide is lost or wasted before it reaches consumers through the postharvest handling, storage, processing, packaging and distribution stages. In response to this, Tata Steels mobile canning line concept has been designed to allow producers to establish a production line to make cans and fill them with fruit or vegetables on site, vastly reducing food loss.
The mobile facility will include two trucks, one housing the canning line and the other the food processing facilities, which will be able to move directly to any farm or field with distribution trucks collecting the finished product from them.
The process will create two-piece, drawn and redrawn cans, made from Tata Steels Protact®. Protact circular blanks will be fed directly into the canning line, housed in one of the two trucks, saving space and reducing scrap from steel sheets. Once created, the cans will be brought to the filling truck for processing. Produce will be prepared, canned, seamed, sterilized, visually checked and labelled on site.
Steven Dijkstra, head of Marketing Packaging & Nordics at Tata Steel in Europe, said: In India, 44% of food harvested is lost before it reaches consumers through the postharvest stages. Tata Steels mobile canning line will allow farmers, even in remote areas, to preserve their harvest, producing canned foods, ready for distribution on site.
Tata Steels mobile canning and processing line is set to be in use within the next three years, with the company currently in discussion with a number of interested parties across the world to bring this concept to life.