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Water usage in food processing From May 2010 newsletter

Water usage in food processing

On-going member subscription-funded research is looking at ways in which water usage can be made more efficient throughout the food production chain – from primary production through manufacturing and processing - thus improving sustainability throughout the food and drink industry.

Water is an essential resource in both primary production and food and drink manufacturing, but supplies are limited and the cost of water and control of its usage are likely to increase in the coming years. In the UK, the industry contributes significantly to the demands put on water supply.

The use of water during crop production and food processing has been reviewed, along with opportunities for water re-use and recycling, and available guidance and current research and initiatives in this area are being assessed. Of particular interest are the hazards that might be associated with different forms of water re-use and recycling. The research project will culminate in the publishing of guidance to food producers and manufacturers on how to support a case for water re–use approved by the local competent authority. The guidance will include a description of typical hazards and their contamination of water during food processing activities, a description of a range of appropriate water treatment systems and the documentation required for a water reuse submission.