Less Waste, More Food — Have You Heard Of This Company Yet?

Approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or goes to waste globally, according to the World Food Programme. The wasted food is worth about $1 trillion and would be more than enough to feed everyone in the world.

While an Israeli subsidiary of Save Foods Inc. SVFD can’t solve the problem on its own, its innovative food protection techniques are trying to ensure food, particularly fruit and vegetables, has more of a fighting chance to make it to people who need it.

The latest success project for Save Foods is with blueberries. The company has carried out a pilot program with a major South Africa-based exporter of the fruit.

The exporter trialed the use of Save Foods’ eco crop protection solution during its 2021-22 growing season, which resulted in the complete mitigation of mold in the fruit after seven weeks and shelf-life extension of a week — equivalent to an 8% increase in the amount of fruit to be sold and subsequently less waste to process.

“We observed that Save Foods’ eco crop protection treatment consistently preserves the quality of berry varieties in different geographic regions and with different growers,” Save Foods CEO Dan Sztybel said. “We believe this represents confirmation of the effectiveness that our standalone solution provides.”

Challenges Abound In Growing Markets

 

South Africa, which exports 90% of the fruit it grows and is one of the largest fruit producers globally, is a tough market given its relative distance from many of the countries it exports to. The distance ups the challenges faced in preserving fruits to ensure they reach consumers the way they are supposed to both in terms of taste and texture as well as adhering to tighter regulations regarding pesticide treatment.

Save Foods’ treatments, which it reports are based on a blend of edible acids and an oxidizer, are non-toxic, easy to apply, extend shelf life and provide a high level of food safety that benefits consumers. They can be used both in preharvest and post-harvest scenarios, but Save Foods is largely concentrating on post-harvest solutions in fruit and vegetable packing houses with mangos, avocados, pears, apples and citrus fruit.

The global berry and grape market was estimated to be worth $826 billion in 2020, Save Foods says. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.8% from 2022 to 2027, reaching a value of approximately $1.2 trillion by 2026.

Save Foods also has carried out pilot projects with strawberries and has reported waste at the end of a two-week period totaling only 14% compared with an industry standard of 81%.

Large fruit and vegetable producers globally include Dole plc DOLE and Chiquita Brands International Inc. CQB.

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Featured photo by Annemarie Gruden on Unsplash

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