What’s the design in a nutshell?
An organic coating that prevents the development of fungal pathogens and reduces food waste.
Why is it needed?
Food waste is a pervasive problem all around the world and occurs at all stages of the supply chain. From losses in the field to being tossed out at home. Currently, over 800 million people are suffering from severe malnutrition, a shocking fact when one-third of all the food intended for human consumption is wasted or lost. And this doesn't even take into account the environmental impacts of food waste: if food waste was a country, it’d be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.
How does it work?
AgroSustain’s biological fungicides aim to stop food waste at several places in the supply chain. Their plant-based and organic treatments can protect more than 1,000 crops from moulds that damage them while growing in the field. They also extend the shelf-life of crops by more than 20 days after they’ve been harvested.
AgroSustain’s first products will be for post-harvest application and are being designed in three versions to suit different crop types. The coating, completely safe for food application, can be applied to fruits and vegetables by either submerging them in the coating, spraying them or by vapour application. By the time the food products reach the consumer market, AgroSustain’s solutions are completely undetectable to consumers.
"Until now, no efficient, cost-effective, organic treatments have been available to tackle this problem."
How does it improve life?
All of AgroSustain’s products are 100% biological and leave no residues. They enable a significant reduction in waste and a much more environment-friendly logistics chain. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimated annual food waste at an equivalent of €820 billion, out of which €49 billion of fruits and vegetables were lost due to fungal pathogens, also known as mould, in post-harvest. Until now, no efficient, cost-effective, organic treatments have been available to tackle this problem.
What’s the impact to date or projected impact?
The company has secured funding to enable clear product registration hurdles in Europe and the US for its first line of post-harvest applications. The company’s target customers are both the food producers growing and storing crops, and retailers who can introduce AgroSustain to their grower networks. “With the world focusing ever more sharply on sustainable, organic food production, the timing and future potential of our offering could hardly be better,” says AgroSustain.