A food tech startup in upstate New York has developed technology to preserve food without refrigeration for months beyond what would normally spoil, without the use of artificial preservatives.
Prepared to reduce the millions of tons of food waste around the world, it also has the potential to transform agriculture in developing countries where containers and refrigerated trains are rare or expensive.
Have you ever wondered why we don’t dedicate more farmland to growing fruits and vegetables instead of grains, as they are so much more nutritious? The reason is food spoilage, a problem that costs $ 14 billion in waste in India alone.
As soon as a crop is harvested, a clock starts ticking until oxygen and bacteria render the produce inedible. Farms further away Patented CO2 pasteurization technology is a simple solution that can extend the shelf life of packaged foods at room temperature beyond 90 days.
Their first demonstration, French fries, would normally need to be frozen to survive travel between production facilities and supermarkets. They cannot be pasteurized like other products, as rapid steam heating would turn them into mush.
Instead, Farther Farms places them in special containers and fills them with supercritical CO2, which prevents oxidative damage and suffocation of bacteria.
The frozen supply chain
Growing up in India in a farming family, co-founder Vipul Saran developed Farther Farms as a graduate student at Cornell University. His familiarity with the costs and difficulties of getting farm produce, in his case potatoes, from farms to towns and cities before they went bad informed his development of the technology.
“The overall goal was basically how we can look for new and innovative food processing technologies that allow us to create value-added food products from these perishable food products, avoiding the need and dependence as much as possible on the refrigeration and freezing? “Saran told Adele Peters in Fast company.
Rather than packing apples or potatoes in a plastic bag, Farther Farms technology is ideal for value-added food products, not only because they need some type of packaging, but also because it allows farmers to earn more money, for example , turn the tomatoes into sauce.
Rather than having to transport them via refrigerated rail cars or shipping containers, methods that are not only expensive but have limited reach in countries in Asia, Africa and South America, Farther Farms would allow them to avoid the frozen supply chain. and ship at any temperature, allowing farmers and food producers of all kinds to reach the maximum number of markets.
“If you can start producing internationally and create markets for value-added food products that don’t currently exist, you will do everything you can to help farmers,” says Saran.
Peters points out that we throw away 30 million tons of food a year in the United States, and if you’ve ever pulled a bag of forgotten freezer burned food out of the refrigerator, you can see how ideal this technology would be. for planning family meals.
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