Not all food grown makes it to market – in fact, between a third and half get ‘lost’ along the way due to disease arising from various logistics issues. Israeli agrotech company, Pimi Agro, has been tackling the global food security problem through their unique Stabilised Hydrogen Peroxide (STHP) solution since 2004, keeping fruit and vegetables fresh for up to 10 weeks and eliminating rot and deterioration from transportation, storage and other logistics issues.
Pimi have been conducting extensive scientific studies since 2004, with results persuasive enough for global agricultural and food authorities to approve their all-natural, no chemical method of preserving product. The largest retailer in America, Wal-Mart, as well as SunPacific – the largest shipper of citrus fruit in the US – have also conducted field tests of their technology, looking towards licensing it for everyday use.
Pimi’s business could have far-reaching implications, and Pimi has plans to work with international institutions such as the United Nations to tackle this problem: “The world – especially the developing world – loses half of what it grows to rot and disease. More produce means more food to feed hungry people, and our methods don’t require the deployment of dangerous chemicals or expensive and questionable genetic reformulations of fruits and vegetables. With our products, we believe there will be enough to go around to make a real dent in world hunger.”
Ben-Yehuda recognises the huge impact it could have in places such as India, China and Africa: “…the transportation systems in those areas are slow and refrigeration is hard to come by,” said Ben-Yehuda. “You could walk from one end of India to the other over a period of 10 weeks, and the vegetables and fruit you carry will still be fresh for the entire time.”
As well as preventing food disease, Pimi’s products allow farmers to employ more sustainable growing methods. Extending the life or produce means that different transportation measures can be used such as trains instead of trucks, lessening air pollution in the process. Farmers can also avoid overplanting, use less fertiliser and less irrigation water.
Pimi is currently working with a number of large food producers such as pepsico and FritoLay across the world. They are in plans to develop products for meat, poultry and fish in addition to fruit and vegetables.
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