One-third of the food produced around the globe, which is worth roughly $1 trillion, is lost or wasted during its production or consumption. In the US alone, 30-40 percent of the food supply is wasted – more than 20 pounds of food per person per month.
Israeli company Phresh came up with unique food protectors, which preserve your fruits and vegetables for three times longer and could save each household up to $400 a year from the loss of spoiled fruits and vegetables, while also limiting humankind’s environmental footprint.
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“Phresh will help us realize our vision of creating heroic solutions that make our personal lifestyles sustainable,” Amit Gal-Or, founder and CEO of Phresh, said in a statement.
The crowds seem to be cheering for this vision: In two weeks, the company raised over $21,000 on crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, exceeding its original $20,000 goal – with two more weeks to go. The price of one unit starts at $20, to be shipped this summer.
Using organic technology to increase the shelf life of fruits and vegetables by three times, Phresh claims that it allows people to enjoy healthier foods for longer periods of time. The product comes in the shapes of an apple (red or gold) and robot (white), in which Phresh’s organic, non-toxic powder is inserted.
This powder dissolves into the atmosphere and eliminates bacteria and fungi while oxygenating the area, according to the company. As a result, no physical application upon the produce is required, and no additional smells or tastes can be sensed.
Phresh is designed to extend the shelf life of cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, apples, lemons, lettuce, grapes, mushrooms, strawberries and peppers. More fruits and vegetables will be added soon.
Based on 12 years of research at the Israeli company BotanoCap, spin-off startup Phresh concocted a ‘magic’ powder that’s composed of essential oils, which are natural preservatives created by plants, such as oregano, spearmint, mustard oil, and other plants. Using a patented micro-encapsulation procedure, each grain of Phresh’s powder extends the effect of the preservatives to over a month.
The consumer has to place one of the powder sachets, which come in every package, inside the food protector. Each package supplied by Phresh contains 12 sachets, which is enough for one year. Each food protector is equipped with a LED lamp that changes color over time, reminding the customer to change the powder once every one or two months. After that, the consumers place the food protector near their fruits and vegetables – whether in the fridge, a basket, or a bowl – and the powder starts protecting the produce.
“Households’ little hero”
Countless areas of our lives are touched by constant improvements – our TVs get better, our smartphones become faster, and the services we receive get quicker all the time. But food spoilage, which touches the lives of each one of us, hasn’t seen major improvements since the invention of the refrigerator.
Says Gal-Or: “When Phresh was created, our powder began to display almost magical power of seemingly increasing fruit and vegetable lives using organic materials. We hope that the food protectors can be each household’s little hero in the kitchen.”
Photos and video: Phresh