Our client, a major food manufacturer, wanted to significantly reduce water consumption on the production line for one of its leading products.

Our client was already pursuing small gains by fine-tuning their existing process. But they wanted to obtain further savings, so asked 42 Technology to investigate potential ideas for radical new processing methods.

water hits apple in a freeze frame shot

Defining areas for savings

After a period of analysis and testing, the true functions of the water in the process were better defined.

This allowed the 42T team to identify and recommend several distinct development routes with high potential water savings. The most radical had the potential for a near 50% saving.

water savings on production line showing tanks holding liquid

What we achieved

Adrian Swinburne, Head of Consumer at 42T, says: “The project proved to be an excellent example of things not being as they may first appear. As is often the case for our projects, the original question is often straightforward and simple. In this case, it was: “How can we wash this product using significantly less water?

In fact, the situation turned out to be much more interesting and complex. Water was being used to wash, cool, transport and mechanically agitate the product.  And it was only when each of these functions was examined individually, did the full potential for water reduction come to light.

The result was almost a 50% saving in one of these processes alone.”

What is *virtual water?

The concept means the volume of water it takes to grow, process and transport food in the overall production and trade of food products. It encompasses every aspect of getting food from the field to the table.

The concept was first discussed by Professor John Anthony Allan of King’s College, London and Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute in their publications.

If you would like to find out more please contact 42T’s Adrian Swinburne:
adrian.swinburne@42T.com | +44 (0)1480 302700 | Adrian Swinburne | LinkedIn

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