Many Foods, One Power

This startup turns almost-expired fruit Into tasty nutritional powder to fight hunger. PHOTO: Co Exist

This startup turns almost-expired fruit Into tasty nutritional powder to fight hunger. PHOTO: Co Exist

According to a 2013 report by UNEP and the World Resources Institute (WRI), about one-third of all food produced worldwide, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems. When this figure is converted to calories, this means that about 1 in 4 calories intended for consumption is never actually eaten. About 24 percent of all calories currently produced for human consumption are lost or wasted. In a world full of hunger and volatile food prices, these statistics make a case for ideas to combat food waste. And this Swedish startup may have a solution in which grocery stores and their stock of nearly expired food are the main players.

Rather than trying to deliver fresh fruits that are about to go bad, they dry the fruits and turn them into a nutritional powder they’re marketing as FoPo. The powder can be mixed with water or sprinkled on yogurt or ice cream.

“By drying fruits you extend the shelf life from around two weeks up to two years,” says Kent Ngo, one of the founders of FoPo. The process, which can retain between 30% to 80% of the original nutritional value, makes logistics simpler. Suddenly it’s possible to efficiently send the food not only to local soup kitchens, but to anyone struggling from hunger around the world.

“By using dried fruits we also eliminate the need for a fridge to preserve the food—sometimes this is critical in developing countries when the electricity stops working or in situations where a fridge doesn’t exist,” Ngo says.

The drying process works up until the fruit’s last edible moments. “We can use the fruits up until the very day they expire,” he says. “We collect produce which was deemed as ‘rejects,’ which are comprised of mostly overripe, ugly, misshaped, discolored but otherwise perfectly edible fruits and vegetables.” The fruits are sorted and anything that’s already moldy or inedible is tossed.

Read more on where this idea is set to take off.

3 thoughts on “Many Foods, One Power

  1. Pingback: On Food Waste | Raxa Collective

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