Saveggey’s eco-friendly packaging reduces global oil dependency and food waste by providing a long shelf life for fruits and vegetables. The company – which was recently awarded a grant from the Sten K Johnson Foundation – is now commercializing its bio-based packaging, or “coating,” with help from SmiLe, as an environmentally superior alternative to the plastic film currently used to protect vegetables. Saveggy is a new member of SmiLe Incubator.
The environmental benefits of replacing today’s fossil-based plastics with bio-based materials are huge, reducing both dependence on fossil raw materials and greenhouse gas emissions. Wrapping sensitive foods in plastic protects them from dehydration and microorganisms to increase shelf life, which contributes to less food waste.
Saveggy’s innovative bio-based and edible packaging consists of a liquid that is sprayed onto fruits and vegetables to protect them and to preserve their life span as effectively as the plastic currently in use. The biotech innovation comes from Lund University researchers including Vahid Sohrabpour, founder and CEO of Saveggy. The technology provides a natural alternative to fossil-based plastics.
Through the company Saveggy, whose name was inspired by “save veggy,” he is developing the innovation into a marketable product, with an initial focus on vegetables that are especially fragile, such as cucumbers. The company plans to begin marketing the product in one to two years.
“It feels great to be a member of SmiLe Incubator, which is a successful incubator with an excellent reputation, outstanding labs and highly experienced coaches. I’m also pleased that we received the Sten K Johnson grant – a welcome contribution to the company’s next step, which is pilot-scale test production. My driving force is the desire to help the world make better use of the food it produces, while reducing both the use of fossil raw materials and carbon emissions," says Vahid Sohrabpour.
In addition to the grant from the Sten K Johnson foundation, the innovation has garnered an award from Lidl, one of the largest food companies in Europe, in the Future Initiatives competition.
“SmiLe works with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has developed the SDG Scan tool, which helps companies to identify the goals their products help to meet and to create sustainability strategies. Support for Saveggy is an interesting example of how we can use our broad expertise in biotechnology, while highlighting the importance of access to lab infrastructure for related research areas. We look forward to helping Saveggy commercialize its innovation, which, in addition to being an exciting business opportunity, also has a positive environmental and climate impact,” says Ebba Fåhraeus, CEO of SmiLe Incubator.
Photo of Vahid Sohrabpour, CEO of Saveggy.
For more information, please contact: Ebba Fåhraeus, +46 (0)734 000 433, ebba [at] smileincubator.life
- Plastic wrapped raw cucumbers keep good quality for around 12 days, compared with those without plastic, which keep well for only 3-4 days.
- June 7 is World Food Safety Day, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 2018 to highlight and inspire action to prevent, detect and manage foodborne hazards, thereby contributing to food safety, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
- The UN has also designated 2021 as “The International Year of Fruits and Vegetables” to raise awareness and reduce wastage so that the world can feed more people.
- One third of the world's fresh food spoils before it is consumed. This figure includes losses during harvesting, transport, processing, sale and storage by consumers. Read more.
- SDG Scan is a SmiLe tool that helps companies work with UN´s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).