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Smart dispenser for retail and food service

Published: 18-03-2015

Oxygen-free dispenser maintains the freshness for longer

TOP is working on a high-quality dispenser-system in which food products can maintain their freshness for a longer period of time. This innovation could be very interesting for food retail and food service, on locations where food products are sold from dispensers.

TOP has developed the new dispensers in cooperation with Dutch company Food Dispense and the German company Bio4Pack. The initiative was supported with a subsidy from Food Future.

In the new dispenser products like nuts, cereals, or coffee beans can maintain their freshness for longer because of the controlled atmosphere (CA). A special unit is build behind the dispenser to ensure that only the nitrogen enters the container from the ambient air and not the oxygen. This way the oxidation is slowed down and the food products can maintain their freshness for longer. A special screw at the food release point ensures that the nitrogen stays separated from the ambient air when in use. The CA dispenser therefore offers a high quality and hygienic alternative to scoop bins.

The dispenser could be very interesting for food retailers. In many countries retailers already work with dispense systems. The downside of the current dispense systems is that products loose their freshness more quickly compared to low oxygen pre-packaged food. This is finally addressed with these new CA dispensers. Also for food service applications like office canteens or breakfast rooms in hotels, this new dispenser can improve the quality of the products offered.

This summer the first packaging-free supermarket of the Netherlands, Bag & Buy, will be opened in Utrecht. The possibility to test the new dispenser in this store is currently being investigated.

The prototype of the dispenser is about 41 x 15 x 47 cm (hxwxd), including the unit that separates the nitrogen from the oxygen. TOP also sees an opportunity for a row of dispensers whereby 1 unit can regulate the atmosphere in multiple dispensers.