26 March 2020
The Role of Refrigeration in Worldwide nutrition

The International Institute of Refrigeration (IIF/IIR) has published today their 6th Informatory Note on Refrigeration and Food : The Role of Refrigeration in Worldwide nutrition (2020).Over a year, the food products that should benefit from refrigeration represent 1.661 million tonnes (46 % of food production) after deducting the various agricultural and post-harvest losses. Yet only 47 % of this tonnage is refrigerated, resulting in losses amounting to 13 % of food production.

These losses are particularly high in developing countries, where the available refrigeration capacity is much lower than in developed countries. These 475 million tonnes of lost food could be saved thanks to refrigeration and could theoretically feed 950 million people a year. This figure must be put in perspective with the fact that in 2018, 821 million people were undernourished and that the world population is still to grow by 2 billion by 2050.

These figures were evaluated by the IIR from the latest FAO data on the basis of a model assessing food losses for each category of perishable food products and for each stage of the food supply chain. Based on these estimates, this Information Note aims to demonstrate the essential role that efficient cold chains can play in improving global food security.



This Informatory Note, which is necessarily synthetic, includes various meaningful charts and is supplemented by an annex detailing the assumptions and calculations made. It thus provides key analytical points to implement a real policy on food loss and waste in each country, in particular thanks to efficient refrigeration technologies adapted to different situations and environment-friendly. An additional Informatory Note will soon be published to quantify the impacts on global warming of these losses and the refrigeration solutions enabling them to be reduced.


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