Fresh Ideas to Recycle Stale Bread

In view of current figures published by the WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) an average of 12% to 15% of the pastry produced in German bakeries and bakery shops go unsold – this corresponds to a loss of approx. 1.7 million tons annually, according to a study published on

Some companies are already demonstrating how unsold bread and pastry can be turned into innovative secondary products, this being one of the proposed solutions.

For example, stale bread can be turned into schnapps. Distillery “Edelbrennerei Nordik” located in Lower Saxony uses about 80% of bakery returns for producing bread brandy. Since bread perishes quickly they have installed special storage and cooling logistics.

However, bread can also be turned into delicious bread dumplings. Product developers Markus Felchner and Udo Rössel came up with an idea and realized it in cooperation with Bakery Lenert in the Saarland region. Here, the dumplings are squared and baked in the oven rather than spherical and boiled in water. Pan-fried they make a hearty side dish for veggies, fish or meat. And as sandwiches they are ideal companions for little snacks between meals.

Freshly Packaged

Snack packaging offers hygienic protection against damage and soiling on the shelf. In the pastry segment this primarily applies to ready-to-eat products that have a shelf-life of just a few days as they are packaged in simple plastic film bags.

But bakery products are not all the same. Fruit cake, for example, is rather moist and therefore has to be protected against dehydration. Cookies, on the other hand, must not be exposed to too much humidity. In both cases protection against water vapor is key and can be achieved by means of special barrier films.

Bread is not the only issue. One third of all food produced for human consumption worldwide still perishes or goes to waste – while just under 800 million people are malnourished. The most effective way to address this issue is to tackle the problem from several angles. For this reason, Messe Düsseldorf has joined forces with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and various players from business, industry, social and political spheres. With the SAVE FOOD Initiative they all want to jointly raise public awareness about the fight against food losses and waste and develop counter strategies and solutions. Many of those involved here come from the packaging industry – because packaged food is protected food.

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