From February 20th 2015, new EU rules mean ovens must be more energy efficient – for example, by improving door seals to retain more heat – but further up the food supply chain, a focus on the use of compressed air has been improving energy efficiency for years already.

The latest move is supported in principle by 87% of Britons, according to ComRes research commissioned by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, and is expected to save £1.1 billion on domestic energy bills over the next 15 years, with ultimate annual carbon reductions equivalent to a million barrels of oil.

But within the food industry – and the chilled food industry in particular – energy efficiency has been on the agenda for several years already, including the use of compressed air in producing and packaging chilled food products.

The Chilled Food Association explains: “The use of compressed air is common and a comprehensive programme of compressed air management and leak remedy programmes are widely employed.”

This was said back in September 2012, and at that time efficiency improvements of 21.4% had already been achieved overall – proof that the latest EU regulations are simply extending to consumers the commitment that has already been made by the industry over the long term.