A food vacuum-sealing vacuum may be cheaper than a conventional sealer in the future, according to a new study.
Food-safety experts said the study may have found a better way to make money in the food-seeding market.
The study found a business model that relies on food companies to produce sealed containers that can be used in restaurants, cafes and grocery stores, or to seal products in grocery stores.
But the study also suggested that food companies could be able to get a competitive edge by building their own sealers, according an article in the Wall Street Journal.
“What they’ve found is a way to build these really inexpensive, very efficient food-sorting machines, but without any of the risk,” said Jeffrey J. Cohen, a professor of economics at Cornell University and the study’s lead author.
Cohen said he’s not sure why the food manufacturers would want to build their own sealed containers.
But he said it’s possible that the companies may be interested in selling a smaller product that could also be used to seal food items in supermarkets.
Food-quality companies could build their food-quality sealers in-house, with no need for a third-party company to build the product, Cohen said.
Food companies may have a choice.
The study found that food-safety companies could cut their cost by building more efficient sealed containers in-home, using materials made in China, instead of outsourcing manufacturing.
Cohen and his colleagues found that a food-service sealer that is twice as efficient as a conventional vacuum-sanding machine can save $1.30 per gallon of food for food-products companies, which would add up to about $3,000 per year.
The sealers could be sold in supermarkets and in restaurants.
Food industry experts said this is possible because the food companies would be buying sealed containers directly from the food producers.
But Cohen said this method is less efficient than the cheaper sealers that can use chemicals or other manufacturing processes to make them.
Food manufacturers could also lower their costs by using cheaper sealed containers, he said.
Cohen’s team used a food processor to measure the efficiency of a food sealer and found that it would save them $0.10 per gallon for the food industry.
The food-industry researchers said the sealers used in their study could be made in-houses by a food processing company.
Food suppliers could also have a better opportunity to increase sales by reducing costs, according a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences.
In that study, food-processing companies showed that they could cut the cost of food-handling by reducing the amount of time that food handlers spend at the food processing plant.
But the report noted that the process can be costly.
The study may be a step in the right direction, said Andrew J. Wittenberg, a business-school professor at Columbia Business School.
But food-tech companies are not going to change the food supply chain anytime soon, he added.