Food waste has been an industry concern for some time and there are a multitude of ingredients available that manufacturers can use to both extend shelf-life and fulfill consumer expectations for quality, safety and experience. The European Commission (EC) recently released a study investigating the relationship between date marking on food labels and food waste and according to the International Food Additives Council chief, Robert Rankin, ingredients are often the unsung hero.

The overall objective of the EC study was to help inform the European Union (EU) of actions it can take to help mitigate food waste, which is substantial in the EU and globally. Researchers found that up to 10 percent of the 88 million tons of food waste generated by the EU annually is linked to date marking, presumably due to widespread confusion around how to interpret dates on food labels. Of avoidable food waste based on date labels, the study found that the top products wasted were yogurt (70 percent), eggs (59 percent), cooking sauces (59 percent) and cakes & desserts (28 percent).

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