WORLD TRENDS IN FOODTECH – FIGHT AGAINST FOOD WASTE
In a previous article we introduced the theme of foodtech (https://www.completefood.it/en/world-trend-foodtech/), giving a brief summary of the main areas in which the most innovative food companies in the world they are working.
Today we are talking about startups active in the fight against food waste.
Food waste has reached amazing levels. It is estimated that in the European Union alone, over 88 million tons of food are wasted each year, with a cost associated with this waste of around 150 billion euros.
In recent years, thanks to new technologies, different realities have been created that aim to reduce these enormous wastes.
We divide the startups of this sector into at least three types, to help us understand how the most innovative companies are moving on this front.
Applications and platforms to reduce food waste
All these mobile applications that connect points of purchase / consumption, food producers and consumers are part of this “category” in order to reduce the amount of wasted food.
Some of these realities have already achieved great success. Think of the English reality Too Good To Go (https://toogoodtogo.co.uk/en-gb), which is an app that allows consumers to pick up the leftovers from the day in shops and restaurants at advantageous economic conditions. The result is a decrease in waste, but also a greater turnover from the collection points (shops or restaurants), and a saving on the part of consumers.
In Italy there are realities that aim to reproduce a similar model. We mention for example the app MyFoody, which works with some Italian supermarkets and allows consumers to save money by buying food that would otherwise be thrown: https://myfoody.it/
Products based on other processing waste
We often don’t think about it, but in many food products there is a working waste, as is normal. Some startups have decided to reuse the waste that can still have value by using it to produce something else. There are several examples in the market. One of the most famous is Regrained, a San Francisco company that produces cereal bars obtained from the waste of beer processing. https://www.regrained.com/
Use of aesthetically “ugly” plants
In the past we have talked about it in our blog: a good part of the plants does not even arrive on the shelves of shops and supermarkets because consumers are very sensitive to the aesthetic aspect of fruit and vegetables. For this reason, the “ugly” vegetables are historically discarded, thrown in the garbage despite being absolutely good. We are talking about a very large amount: about 20% of plant production is wasted on aesthetic reasons!
Some startups try to remedy this nonsense, using exactly what doesn’t end up in the stores because it doesn’t look good. As an example, we have chosen a Dutch company, Kromkommer, which produces various types of soups starting with “ugly” vegetables: https://www.kromkommer.com/english/