An Israeli company may have just found a way to end world hunger while creating safer produce for all consumers. The company created a method that can extend produce shelf life by 1,500 percent to 10 weeks. The invention comes after produce longevity and spoilage was noted as the reason that up to one-half of all harvested food products are thrown out. The post-harvest product is sprayed onto the produce, but leaves no chemical trace behind, as it dissolves directly into hydrogen and oxygen. The longevity spray also controls storage-related diseases caused by fungi, yeasts, molds, viruses, and bacteria, which will mean that farmers can cut down on the amount of fungicides needed on their produce making a more natural end product for consumers.
The Times of Israel notes that up to one-half of all produce grown in the world never makes it to the table due to spoilage. This can result in food shortages across the globe and extreme amounts of waste. The problems are even more severe in areas with limited transportation options. Areas such as India, China, and Africa with high levels of hunger also lack reliable transportation services, which can result in food spoilage as the delivery takes too long. Additionally, these areas lack access to enough refrigerated trucks, making shelf-life of produce a high priority. Therefore, an Israeli company, Pimi Agro, has come up with a product that can extend the shelf-life of produce by 1,500 percent and keep produce viable for up to 10 weeks.
Ben-Yehuda, the CTO and co-founder of Pimo, notes that the company plans to introduce their findings to the United Nations in a bid to help wipe out world hunger. The company notes that not only will the product extend produce shelf life, it will allow farmers to use less chemicals as the product will kill bacteria, mold, yeasts, and fungi that can be found on produce following storage. Once the product is sprayed on the produce, it breaks down to simply hydrogen and oxygen leaving no trace of chemicals behind.
In addition to ending the world hunger problem and providing a more natural end product to consumers, the company also points out the products ability to kill deadly diseases that can be found on produce products. For example, it was noted that within 60 seconds of applying Pima’s product to the produce, Listeria was killed completely. This is huge news for producers as Listeria results in recalls.
“Listeria, which has been a culprit in many cases of recent food poisoning at American fast food restaurants, is killed within 60 seconds of applying our products. As a result, farmers and wholesalers can cut down on their use of fungicides.”
Interestingly, the Pima product is 99.4 percent hydrogen peroxide. However, it is the 0.6 percent of the product that took Pima researchers 15 years to develop. It was noted that hydrogen peroxide on its own will promote rot in produce, but the Pima product that is 99.4 percent hydrogen peroxide extends the shelf life due to the 0.6 percent of the recipe that is categorized as an “edible acid.” The “edible acid” has been determined as safe and actually qualifies as organic as well.
“The additives, categorized as edible acids, have been declared safe and organic by a host of international agencies, including the EPA and EU food safety agencies.”
Pima is excited about all of the possibilities that the product could provide to the produce industry including the idea that more sustainable methods of growing and transportation could be used.
“Besides cutting down on chemical residue and preventing disease, the Pimi solution allows farmers to use much more sustainable growing methods. By extending the life of produce, fruits and vegetables can be transported in more environmentally friendly ways – trains, for example.”
What do you think about the possibility of extending produce shelf life to 10 weeks? Do you think this new product could end world hunger and promote a more sustainable method of farming and transporting our food?
[Photo by John Moore/ Getty Images]