FIPDes finalists in “Thought For Food Challenge”, March 2015

How do you feed 9 billion people by 2050?

This was the challenge accepted by Lund University FIPDes students Gerald Marin from the Philippines and Vita Jarolimkova from Czech Republic, together with Kent Ngo, a mechanical engineering student from Sweden. In a world where 25% of the food we produce are being wasted, the group believed the real problem to this is finding a better way to preserve it. The team’s ingenious but simple solution is to use freeze drying technology and pulverizer to create food powder. That way, a normal fresh produce which lasts for 2 weeks can then last for 2 years. Freeze drying preserves nutrients and only removes the water, which is usually a cause for increased bacterial colony leading to spoilage. Making the freeze-dried food into powder creates more ways to utilize it.

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With retailers, importers, and producers throwing a lot of food due to strict regulations on expiration date, it will make more business sense for them to sell their fresh produce having only 1 day left. FoPo will buy/ receive donations of second class, expiring, damaged or unsellable fresh produce from producers and retailers and transport it to the processing facility, where it will be turned into freeze-dried powder. They will deposit the food in our factory, where we use second-hand freeze-dryer and pulverizer to turn food into powder. It will be placed near warehouse facilities, where food producers and retailers can easily reach without added cost for transportation in the supply chain. Fopo will then be sold back to retailers in consumer packaging, but now with extended shelf life.

This idea is part of the 9 teams that already reached the finals of the Thought For Food Challenge, out of 336 other ideas worldwide. They will fly to Lisbon, Portugal this February for the finals, where they will attend the Thought for Food Global Summit with speakers such as Mark Post, In-Vitro Meat Inventor from Maastricht University, Michael Kock, Head of Intellectual Property from Syngenta, and Roger Thurow, representative from Chicago Council on Global Affairs. They will have the chance to pitch to a board of investors in the finals night.

With proper guidance from experienced professors, cutting-edge technology, and research facilities provided by the FIPDes programme, no wonder why ideas like FoPo food powder are being developed and supported. Gerald, Vita and Kent are ready to face this challenge head on, hoping that FoPo is the solution to help feed 9 billion by 2050.

More info can be found here: http://www.tffchallenge.com/team/fopo-food-powder/

Video about the project

Gerald Perry Marin (FIPDes cohort 2012-2014)

- Updated April 2015 -