KUALA TERENGGANU, Sept 17 — The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP), through the Food Bank Malaysia secretariat, has so far successfully installed 12 retort machines in hotel and catering premises in 10 states.

KPDNHEP secretary-general Datuk Azman Mohd Yusof said the machines will increase the shelf life of surplus food between 18 to 24 months by using aseptic techniques.

He said since the initiative was launched in May last year, the machines, which can prevent food wastage, especially in the hotel sector, have produced 3,000 retort food packs that benefited targeted groups and B40 students to reduce the cost of living on campus.

“A single retort machine is estimated to be worth RM30,000 to RM40,000 so the allocation we use is from the remainder of any expenses that cannot be spent. We use this money to buy retort machines so that we can deliver to hotels, catering premises and so on for packaging purposes.

“This initiative is now under the ministry’s responsibility but we will have to think of the best model as to how to supply these machines. So we hope there will be parties or those from the private sector who are ready to help encourage the use of these retort machines,” he said.

He told reporters this after officiating the plaque and certificate of appreciation presentation ceremony for strategic partners of the Retort Packaging Technology initiative as well as the Food Bank Malaysia Retort Food Donation Programme here today.

Azman said surplus food packed using retort machines will also help flood victims in the upcoming monsoon season as they are longer lasting and easier to prepare.

“We will work together with the relevant parties such as NADMA (National Disaster Management Agency, JKM (Social Welfare Department) and so on to ensure food through retort processing can be delivered to flood victims, but this would also require contributions from other parties,” he said. — Bernama