Over the past decades, humankind has made considerable progress in the battle against hunger. Even compared to 2000, the number of undernourished people worldwide has fallen by more than 25 percent. But there are still too many. About 815 million people are estimated to be chronically undernourished, although according to the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations) in absolute terms, there is sufficient food for everyone. The findings show that there is a concurrency of undernourishment and oversupply.
The right to nourishment has been acknowledged internationally as a human right since 1948. Considering the nutritional needs of a growing global population – it is estimated that humankind will increase to more than 9 billion by 2050 – ways have to be found to intermesh the production and provision of food better than has been done in the past. From a statistical aspect, global cereal production must increase by about 50 percent to 3 billion metric tons and meat production must also grow disproportionately. It is also important to improve storage and transportation conditions so that as little food as possible is spoiled and has to be thrown away as food waste.
These and similar challenges are aggravated by climate-induced phenomena such as regional water shortages, the loss of arable land, and extreme weather events. Against this background, one thing is clear: If hunger is to be conquered worldwide by 2030, all political and social actors will have to act in harmony. Evonik is committed to this goal
Amino acids from Evonik enable more efficiency in animal husbandry and, as a consequence, also in food production for humans. Optimum supplies reduce the amount of feed required and also the amount of fecal matter from farm animals. This reduces CO2 emissions considerably, improves the soil structure and also helps protect the waterways – necessary requirements to satisfy increasing food production worldwide.
Fish and crustaceans are an important nutrition component for an increasing number of people. However, there is also the problem of continuing overfishing of our oceans. Evonik and Royal DSM have established a joint venture to produce omega-3 fatty acid products from natural marine algae for animal nutrition. As a result, there is no longer any need to use wild caught fish oil, especially in salmon aquacultures and in the production of pet food. A production plant is currently being built in the USA and is due to commence operations in 2019.
Smart cans, cleaning, and disinfection
Binders from Evonik are used to produce paints and coatings that protect preserved food cans from inside and outside. Hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid are used in the food and beverage industries for residue-free, environmentally friendly cleaning and disinfection. Both of these help extend the shelf life of foods considerably.