Saveggy develops a biobased coating as an alternative to protective plastic currently used to prolong the shelf life of fruit and vegetables. The company has now received a 3,9 Mio SEK grant from Agricultural European Innovation Partnership for a project to develop a production process in a pilot plant, to technically validate the product and finally do a commercial validation in partnership with ICA and Svenska Odlarlaget.
Saveggy is a science-based company and a member of SmiLe incubator in Lund.
Globally, about 45% of fruits and vegetables gets wasted. As the ecological rucksack of food production is heavy (carbon footprint, water use and land use), the environmental impact of wasted food is significant. A powerful method to reduce food waste, is to extend the shelf life of food. For this, often cheap plastic packaging is used. However, the petroleum-based plastic material is exceedingly difficult and costly to recycle. And specially for food, virgin plastic is required. Beside the negative impact on carbon footprint of producing plastic packaging, these materials are also harmful for nature. Recent studies show micro and nano plastics in oceans, in snowflakes, on top of mountains and in human blood.
Saveggy’s products extend the shelf-life of fresh fruits and vegetables using a bio-based protection and eliminates the need for plastic packaging. The product is applied on fruits or vegetables by dipping or spraying after the harvest.
“We started collaborating with ICA in an early phase of the innovation work. The discussions led to a deeper understanding of ICA’s value chain and the requirements that are set at each step to meet consumer expectations. Our continued development work was therefore adapted to meet the requirements”, the founders of Saveggy say.
From the consumer study, we see that consumer curiosity and openness to coating is higher than we had dared to hope for, which is positive, says Marcus Welin Sandgren, purchasing manager for fruit, assortment and purchasing at ICA Sweden.
Saveggy is honoured to be supported by Swedish Board of Agriculture that handles the grant. It enables Saveggy to put the first generation of its products to the market.
Photo: Vahid Sohrabpour CSO and Arash Fayyazi COO at Saveggy. (Photo: Green Challenge).
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