Innovative CleanSmoke technology benefits resources and climate
The question of how the meat industry can become more sustainable and climate-friendly is currently the strongest catalyst for change and innovation. Sustainability is one of the Top Trends in the sector. At least, that’s how the organizers of this year’s IFFA meat trade fair see it for the energy-intensive industry. Among other things, this also applies to heating water and its consumption for cleaning plant premises.
The CleanSmoke smoking process is one of the innovations that can significantly save both energy and water compared to conventional smoking. Because of its special environmental compatibility, this modern process has already been awarded the title of “Best Available Technique” by the European Union.
CleanSmoke is a stable smoke freshly produced with compressed air from primary smoke condensate – free of harmful substances such as tar and ash and the contamination with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) is largely eliminated.with compressed air from primary smoke condensate. This makes the product virtually free of substances such as tar, ash and polycyclic aromatics (PAH).
Also, the Consumers want more sustainable food and therefore reward innovative and climate-friendly products with greater willingness to buy. But currently, a lack of labeling makes it difficult to tell which products are truly environmentally friendly. “Innovations for more sustainability deserve the support of customers and should be recognizable with a label like the CleanSmoke seal,” says Uwe Vogel. He is chairman of the CleanSmoke Coalition, a joint initiative of primary smoke product manufacturers, food producers and retailers. The effect of such labels has also been proven by a study conducted by the University of Cambridge. The CO2 labeling on meals in the university cafeteria and the comparability it provides lead to visible effects. It made students choose meals with a low carbon footprint significantly more often. As a result, the average carbon footprint of all portions served was reduced by five percent.
The eco-balance speaks for CleanSmoke
According to a study by the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL), CleanSmoke technology can save around 50 percent energy and, at the current energy mix, around 30 percent greenhouse gas emissions. This is based on the German market for smoked products. Currently, CleanSmoke is only used in about one-tenth of smoked foods. This allows a reduction of 7.2 percent in energy consumption and eight percent in climate gases. Overall, the potential savings in Germany alone amount to around 600 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy.
In addition, CleanSmoke consumes less than one-seventh of the water used in conventional smoking. If all smokehouses in Germany, for example, were to work with CleanSmoke, consumption would be around 66,000 cubic meters (m3) of water for cleaning the smoking facilities, according to the DIL, a good 15 percent of which is used for raw material production. In conventional smoking, both direct consumption for cleaning and indirect consumption for plant irrigation are significantly greater, at 545,000 and just under 357,000 m3, respectively. According to DIL, 479,000 m3 of water could therefore be saved in the cleaning of the smoking plants alone. This corresponds to the annual consumption of large cities such as Kiel or Gelsenkirchen. In addition, another 350,000 m3 of water could be saved within the supply chain.
Products smoked with CleanSmoke are thus made for the new demands for sustainability of the meat industry. “Smokehouses, as well as retailers and consumers, can easily reduce water and energy consumption with CleanSmoke,” says Vogel. “In this way, we protect resources and make our contribution to climate protection.”