Students turn food into non-perishable powder Dried fruit powder will keep for up to two years. (FoPo Food Powder)
Students turn food into non-perishable powder
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Next time you toss rotten lettuce or moldy berries you should think about this. Globally, we waste more than a third of the food we produce. That is according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.
 
A group of Swedish graduate students is working to fight that fact. They are in the Food Innovation and Product Design program at Lund University and have come up with a way to use produce that is about to go to waste. It may help people who have limited access to food.
 
They are calling it FoPo Food Powder. It is exactly what it sounds like. It is dried, powdered, shelf-stable fruits and vegetables. The powder can be dropped into relief efforts after natural disasters. Or it can be given out in low-resource areas where fresh food and refrigeration are hard to come by.
 
"When we found out that one third of the food produced was going to waste while people in the world were starving, we could not back out," says Kent Ngo. He is one of the students who developed it.
 
Ngo says they are not making something ground-breaking. Powdered food has been around since the early days of astronauts. But they are rethinking the waste and delivery channels. Their development team reached out to farmers and retailers to source fruit. The food scientists experimented with different drying and powdering methods. They settled on spray-drying it. The process then included grinding it up. From there, the students looked at ways to give it out, through commercial and government supported sites.
 
One member of the group is Gerald Perry Marin. He grew up in the Philippines. It is the country's capital. He had seen how typhoons and other natural disasters cut people off from their food supply. And how important it was to have food options that were easy to access in a relief situation.
 
"Today a relief bag for humanitarian disasters contains various foods such as strawberry jam, peanut butter and peas in tomato sauce. We think that an easily transported pack of cheap dried food powder with high nutritional value would fit in perfectly," Ngo says. The team has been trying to keep its prices down, too. That would aid low-budget humanitarian groups and non-governmental groups.
 
Freeze-dried food retains most of the nutritional benefits of raw food. It loses some vitamin and mineral density in the drying process. But it is still a good way to get fiber and nutrients.
 
The makers of FoPo are currently running a pilot program in Manila. For their first run, they are drying calamansi. It is a citrus fruit. Ngo says it tastes like a mix of lime and tangerine. There is a surplus of it. It is not available in other places. And it is easy for their Philippine manufacturing program to dry and powder.
 
The group has reportedly gotten support from senators in the Philippines. And they are about to start working with the U.N.'s Initiative on Food Loss and Waste. The want to try and reach more people and countries that could benefit. To broaden their reach, they are also working with commercial suppliers and companies that want to use FoPo in their food products. Some examples might be cake mixes and ice cream. Consumers can also sprinkle it into food or drinks, or use it in baking. The company has almost 40 international supermarkets on board.
 
"I was a bit surprised that the calamansi powder tasted so good," Ngo says. "I cannot wait for the mango and pineapple powder."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is FoPo powdered?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (173)
  • tucker,africa-cas
    9/10/2015 - 10:23 p.m.

    FoPo is powered because it is dried fruit that is about to go to waste, meaning it's going bad, and it is easier to distribute and maintain as suppose to fresh fruit.

    My personal opinion is that this is a really good idea. I don't eat meat as much so anything to do with fruit and vegetables I'm willing to try. Plus the purpose behind the idea is to help people which I'm totally for. I definitely support this and if it comes to the U.S I would definitely try it.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    9/10/2015 - 11:30 p.m.

    I think that it is cool for students to create rotting food or stuff like that to turn into non-perishing food which will like not turn rotten which it could feed other people around the world which they will be nourished by the rotting food that are turned into food powder. The food powder might be cool though because it could turn one-third of the food that are thrown away in the garbage to become turned into food powder which has the same taste as the food before it was thrown away in the trash.

  • caymanm-2-bar
    9/10/2015 - 11:32 p.m.

    FoPo is powdered because it can last longer than a solid food source. Since the powder can last longer than a solid food source, the powder will not be wasted like other food we do not use. In the article, the team says they made the powder "in case of a natural disaster" so it will not be ruined.

  • paigea-3-bar
    9/11/2015 - 01:33 a.m.

    This is an amazing and creative way to help us not waste food products that would usually end up in the trash. I would want to try this food product for myself. As long as it tasted okay and it was edible, this could be a solution we have longed for. I think this would help to end starvation and a smart way to do so.

  • haliem-
    9/11/2015 - 09:12 a.m.

    I think this article is very helpful with telling people about how there are many places that run short of food in natural disasters. The company is doing a very great thing to help people. I think more people should try to save food that's going to go bad and use it for other people.

  • jayonnag-ros
    9/11/2015 - 02:17 p.m.

    According to "Studence turn food into non-perishable powder" FoPo is powdered because the powder can be dropped into relief efforts after natural disasters.

  • christianm-2-ros
    9/14/2015 - 12:49 p.m.

    FoPo powder is a type of food and there is a mangos and pineapple.

  • braedenm-sla
    9/15/2015 - 02:59 p.m.

    According to the article FoPo is powdered because they need to have an easy access to food sources in a relief situation, as it states in paragraph 6. Powder is such an easy to access food source because all you do is grab a packet, rip it open, and dump it in your mouth. Now let me explain another reason why it is powdered, it could be useful to people not as wealthy as an average person, so if you saw a homeless person out on the street you wouldn't have to give him/her money you could just hand him/her a FoPo powder packet and be like here is your breakfast/lunch/dinner.

  • haileyl-sla
    9/15/2015 - 03:07 p.m.

    There are two reasons that I saw. One reason is, it was easy to make because, I drew conclusions and I am pretty sure that all you have to do is add water. The second reason is, it doesn't need refrigeration for the people who can't afford a refrigerator. Also, I inferred that they made it a very low price for people who can't afford other food in the area of where they live.

  • rowens-cel
    9/16/2015 - 10:11 a.m.

    This article did not use the inverted pyramid style, as it started out with a sentence designed to get the reader's attention. The "why" and "how" were covered much more than the "who," "what," "when," and "where." Because of this, the article was very interesting, but not a great news article.

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