Students turn food into non-perishable powder
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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Why is FoPo powdered?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • jenniferk-kne
    9/16/2015 - 10:17 a.m.

    I think we shoukdent waste food ether we should be happy we evan have food other people dont have food and starve to death so thank your gardian that you have food and are liveing dont waste food

  • hturner-cel
    9/16/2015 - 10:37 a.m.

    I think that the students who created FoPo are on to something big! It's a great way to send the places in the world who don't have as much food during a natural disaster get enough food and nutrients that they need. It also helps to save on wasted food, and save water. Water is becoming scarce in today's time. So if we produce more of this then we can save the water we use for the plants. Im not saying that we (the people in the U.S.) should eat this for every meal. I just think that it should be used for emergency's and when we are in a time of need for it.

  • giovannis-ros
    9/17/2015 - 01:44 p.m.

    It is electrical

  • camerond-ros-ros
    9/17/2015 - 02:34 p.m.

    Kid are eating a food colering food from food colering.

  • hazend3-
    9/18/2015 - 08:41 a.m.

    One thing that has to do with science is how they make it. They grind it up instead of freeze drying it, freeze drying it can take out nutrients.

  • navika-gra
    9/18/2015 - 10:01 a.m.

    The food powder does not sound very good. I would not want to eat it.

  • ayaanr-sla
    9/18/2015 - 10:02 a.m.

    This article tells a story about how ingenious students created a non-perishable food powder that can benefit lives in the future. I feel so thankful to the people who made this because whoever doesn't have access to the things we have, can finally have the right nutrients and vitamins in their lives. Think about all the people in wars or in need who have to live off barely anything. Now they finally have a solution which in the article stated that it has high nutritional value, and it's tasty!

  • hpalmer-cel
    9/18/2015 - 10:15 a.m.

    I think that its interesting that they are finding a way to transform food into powder. This is gonna stop food from being wasted as much. If they made this idea a little bit more advanced then we might even find a way to solve world hunger

  • kbeatty-cel
    9/18/2015 - 10:16 a.m.

    I don't necessarily like the lead. There wasn't information given until the actual introduction. I like that this is for a good reason though. I think there could've been more information given about how the idea was formed and how long they expect the process to take.

  • qjones-cel
    9/18/2015 - 10:23 a.m.

    This article is very well balanced. There are many reasons why this article could have roamed everywhere, but it stayed on topic. I think the Fopo is powdered so it can withstand for a longer amount of time.

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