INDIA – Chennai-based biotechnology company GreenPod Labs has received approval from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for its active packaging solution meant to preserve the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Last month during the 2022 Food Awareness Day, GreenPod Labs Sachets received the FSSAI’s scientific committee clearance in the category of extending the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, making history as the first to receive this approval in India.
“Today is International Food Waste Awareness Day. We’re super excited to share a key milestone in our journey on this day. Finally, GreenPod Lab’s sachets are approved by the FSSAI, Food License Registration India Scientific Committee.
“We’re proud that we’re the first company in India to get this approval for fruit and vegetable shelf-life extension. We have created a new category for this functionality,” Deepak Rajmohan, Founder and CEO of GreenPods, celebrated this accomplishment on LinkedIn.
He went on to congratulate his team’s efforts toward building a sustainable and safe product to solve the food waste and food loss problem in India.
The solution comes in a small sachet which the company claims is safe and cost-effective, and solves the major problem of food wastage.
The economic loss of food waste costs India US$12 billion. In spite of India being the 2nd largest producer of fruits and vegetables, 40% of it is lost before it reaches the consumers.
“We are aligned towards United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals of halving the food waste by 2030. We work towards making this a reality,” says GreenPod Labs.
The agri-tech company’s active packaging solution uses natural plant extracts like corn and potato to activate the inbuilt defense mechanism which slows down the ripening rate, and minimizes microbial growth thus, extending the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, a lot of Indian spices are used. Compounds are also taken out of plants, leaves, etc. For each product, a total of 10 to 15 ingredients are used.
Each crop has its own distinctive characteristics, such as water content or rate of ripening, which cause the formulations to vary from product to product. So, based upon the specific analysis of each crop, a specific compound is created.
After being harvested, fruit and vegetables are placed in crates together with the packet to preserve quality and lengthen shelf life. If introduced later, it regulates the rate of ripening.
The agri-tech company’s active packaging solution uses natural plant extracts to activate the inbuilt defense mechanism which slows down the ripening rate, and minimizes microbial growth thus, extending the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
The amount of crop which can be preserved by one sachet differs for different crops – for tomatoes it is 5-7 Kgs, while for figs it is 3-4 kgs. 1 sachet typically shields 5-7 kg of vegetables.
Rajmohan says that he began the business in 2019 after spending three and a half years studying and working as a Food Scientist in the USA.
He initially chose to create a cold storage solution for India, but he soon realized that high-priced solutions would not be successful there, reports Packaging Europe.