New York startup Farther Farms is pioneering a unique method of making fresh food shelf stable, hoping to reduce the industry's reliance on the cold chain. Mike Annunziata seems to have a problem with refrigeration, and it is largely environmental. Refrigeration eats up about 15% of all of the world's energy consumption, Annunziata said, quoting research published in Food Research International in 2010.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the food sector accounts for about 30% of the world's total energy consumption and around 22% of all greenhouse gas emissions. When the electricity for refrigeration, the manufacture of that refrigeration equipment and greenhouse gases produced by lost refrigerants are taken into consideration, refrigerated storage can account for 10% of a product's carbon footprint.
Annunziata has two potential solutions to this problem: Either make refrigeration more efficient or reduce the need for refrigeration. Choosing the latter, his startup is using the technology of supercritical fluids to make ordinarily frozen food shelf-stable with his company Farther Farms.