Published On: Wed, Jan 14th, 2015

Pimi Agro Cuts Waste in Agriculture

Pimi-Agro

Wal-Mart, SunPacific, Pepsico, FritoLay and BASF are testing Israel’s Pimi Agro CleanTech’s technology to keep food from rotting before reaching the market. Its founder Nimrod Ben-Yehuda declared that he is on a mission to feed millions of starving children worldwide. Not by producing more food, but by dramatically cutting wastage on route to the consumer.

Pimi Agro was established in 2004 to capitalize on many years of research in developing eco-friendly solutions for pre and post-harvest treatments of fruits and vegetables. The company says that its technology platform is based on a unique formulation of Stabilized Hydrogen Peroxide (STHP) and benefits from a worldwide patent protection.

It boasts that its solutions deliver excellent results while being cost effective and easy to use. They are completely biodegradable and leave no harmful residue that could negatively impact the health and safety of people and the environment. Pimi’s solutions, the company asserts, provide alternatives to current pesticide treatments or expensive low-temperature storage methods

Agro CleanTec has an environmentally friendly line of products that it says keep fruits and vegetables fresh for as long as 10 weeks, drastically reducing deterioration during transport.

About one-third of food never makes it to the marketplace; in developing countries the figure is usually higher. Spoilage, disease and transportation issues whittle away producers’ and marketers’ profits – and raise consumer prices.

“Before being sold, all produce is sorted. Thirty percent gets thrown away, and what’s left hardly lasts a day before being replaced, ” says Ben-Yehuda, who dates his concern back to his days as a teenage kibbutznik working in the fields.

“I was amazed at the amount of fruit and vegetables thrown away in the packing stations. I saw piles of rotting peppers and tomatoes — meanwhile children are going hungry. It’s crazy!”

“The critical period is from the time the fruit is picked to when it begins to rot, ” said Ben-Yehuda. “Take a single eggplant, for example. We cut it from its lifeline when we pick it. It’s all alone, and has to survive. Inside, its body systems weaken; it uses up all its sugars and goes into stress, with telltale signs. The fruit rots because it’s weak inside.”

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