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Brief Published: 7 Mar 2016

Powder Delays Food Spoilage

Phresh Organics

Hong Kong-based group Phresh Organics has created a powder that can extend the shelf life of fresh fruit and vegetables for up to 30 days using bio- and micro-electronic technology.

Designed to inhibit the growth of bacteria, the powder is made from plant-derived essential oils, such as oregano and spearmint, and is entirely organic, natural and non-toxic. It comes in slim-line sachets, which are housed in containers called Food Protectors. Each receptacle has a built-in LED light that changes colour when the powder needs to be changed.

No physical application of the product is required; it works by simply placing the sachet inside the Food Protector, and placing the container in close proximity to the foodstuffs. The powder then dissipates the bacteria and fungi in the air that causes food to spoil.

According to data produced by Phresh Organics, a single household in Hong Kong throws away 25% of the food they buy, leading to an annual loss of USD $297-$500, while about one-third of all food produced worldwide is wasted each year (UN Environment Programme, 2013).

For more on domestic gadgets and appliances that are extending the shelf life of fresh food, see Food Expiration Gadget, Samsung's Touchscreen Fridge and Foodee: Smart Food-Waste System. For an alternative approach to food waste that utilises the 'long tail' of edible items, see Expired Fruit Becomes Edible Powder and Look Ahead 2016: Food, Beverage & Hospitality.

Feeding Tomorrow's Consumers and Reframing Rare also present a wider look at future food challenges, including the impending scarcity of many basic foodstuffs.