December 20, 2019
Do Food has developed a new range of light-weight, ambiant meals it believes can help transform the airline waste challenge. Julie Baxter discovers more
David Lau Chi Wai, of Do Food, is a man with a passion. A food scientist with over 25 years experience of inflight catering, he is on a mission to pioneer new, sustainable inflight catering solutions and believes he has just hit gold. In the past two years his business
In the past two years his business has invested $3 million in R&D, new machinery and techniques, to produce a new meal product which he believes is an industry-first in terms of its sustainability credentials.
The new production process freezes meals fast to -40 degrees under vaccum conditions, it then extracts all the water content in a 20-hour process and creates a final ambiant product that will remain fresh on the store shelf for up to three years.
David explains: “Removing all but one per cent of the water content means the meal weighs one third of its original weight – that gives an immediate saving on fuel burn. Airlines and caterers just add water prior to serving and heat, and they only do that to the exact numbers they require so there is no more estimating or inevitable waste from over-loading. The product is dry stored so no electricity is required for chilling or freezing, and in addition it is very price competitive.”
Removing all the water also means bacteria cannot grow so the food remains fresh without any added preservatives. David believes this is the solution airlines have been waiting for and is already working with SIA, Lufthansa, Qatar and Lion Thai to name a few.
He says: “We use the best of natural ingredients mostly from our home market, Thailand, and find the process retains the ingredients’ vibrant colours and moist, freshly-cooked quality when served. Our aluminium trays are sealed with clear film so they look appealing from the moment the passenger receives them and even rice is as moist as if cooked in a home rice cooker.”
The new factory can produce 22,500 meals a day with full Halal and HACCP certification. David adds: “This is the future, especially for LCCs, for special meals and to address the problems of flight delays. This is a new generation of ambiant meals the airlines have been waiting for. It needed time, knowledge and investment to achieve it but now it will solve the problem of food waste.”