Each year, the world loses or squanders a third of the food it produces. This means that somewhere between planting seeds in fields and providing nourishment to the world’s 7 billion people, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food with a value of more than US$1 trillion is lost or wasted. These numbers are simply untenable in a world where, according to Food and Agriculture Organization, some 870 million people do not have enough to eat. In fact, according to the FAO-commissioned study that tallied these numbers, if just one-fourth of lost or wasted food were saved, it could end global hunger.
And drying food, to prevent it from rotting during storage, maybe a solution. A clean, green solution especially with the FoodWa system that uses solar energy to dry foods.
Drying food is a good alternative to cooling (perhaps you’ve heard of beef jerky). And with the FoodWa system, developed by a startup in Italy, you don’t even need electricity to do that. Its dryer runs completely on solar energy, which is captured both in the form of heat and by solar panels.
“One of the main problems in developing countries is they destroy food during transportation from the fields to the market,” says Paolo Franceschetti, the 33-year-old director of the company. “So we started to think of a system they can have directly in the field, so [farmers] can pick the food and dry it immediately. That way, they can save the food for all the year.”
The FoodWa, which comes in two sizes, and is like a big ventilated box. The smaller “Batch” version can handle about 11 pounds at a time. The bigger industrial version does about 50 tons a month. It takes about seven hours to dry sardines, for example; a little longer for vegetables and fruits.
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