What do I with leftover gelato at the end of the day? How can I reduce waste and optimize, saving money? We analyse artisanal gelato production stages with Andrea Bandiera, master gelato artisan and Carpigiani Gelato University instructor, who talks about another issue related to leftover gelato at the end of the day. "A common practice in gelato shops is to re-freeze leftover gelato. This process, which as the name implies involves re-freezing leftover gelato in the batch freezer, is not recommended."

In fact re-freezing the gelato mix in the batch freezer increases both the risk of contamination (in the machine and in the production area) and the food cost. This practice duplicates production costs because the costs of the first freezing must be added to those of the second round: water, labor, and electricity are used twice. "Doing a quick calculation, re-freezing a 24-flavor display case every day can cost approximately up to about 1000 euros each year." Re-freezing is therefore not a cost-effective solution, but neither is it an efficient solution from the point of view of allergen contamination.

Andrea then suggests that the problem be remedied by solving it upstream, organizing production so as to minimize the amount of leftover gelato. To do this, the gelato maker must study consumption, forecasting peaks in sales and times of decline so as to organize an appropriate level of product stock for each season.
When the production process is based on the stock present in the freezer, the gelato artisan can produce efficiently, based on the inventory, creating an optimized color scale both in terms of washing and consumption, and using the machine with a full load to optimize energy consumption (since producing 1 flavor or 2 flavors consumes the same it’s better to work with a full load).

By rationalizing the production according to the stock and not according to sales, the quantity contained in each individual tub or tray can be halved, so that the quantity placed in the display case (where it is more stressed by temperature changes, light, and oxidation) is always the right amount for the season. By leaving the stock in storage, protected against the shocks of heat and oxidation, the product maintains its quality and is ready to be placed in the display case when needed. 

By following this method, Bandiera is able to work by organizing production in advance, limiting "contingencies" related to consumption and sales, and reducing both product waste and costs.

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waste reduction
andrea bandiera
work organization
conservation and stock

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