An estimated one-third all food produced globally goes to waste. Simply cutting the 1.3 billion tons of annual food waste in half would be enough to feed one billion people. Accordingly, reducing food waste is a key focus of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – and Israeli technology is helping the planet make great progress toward achieving this critical goal.
Renowned as an AgTech powerhouse and a leading innovator in foodtech, Israel is leveraging its know-how in these domains to pioneer solutions for combating food waste – from smart coatings that keep food fresh longer to unique technologies designed to address last-mile distribution challenges.
Here are four Israeli companies and organizations working to deliver a more sustainable, less wasteful future for the global food supply.
· A gem of Israeli social organizations, Leket Israel – the National Food Bank – collects surplus food from farms and restaurants, distributing the food to nonprofits throughout the country to feed an estimated 175,000 needy Israelis weekly. Partnering with the Good Energy Initiative, Leket also ensures that food no longer suitable for human consumption doesn’t go to waste by recycling lost food and supplying it to farmers to feed their animals.
· Amaizz helps customers reduce food loss by up to 50 percent with drying, refrigeration, and storage solutions that prevent food from spoiling and degrading. The company’s products target clients including small- and medium-scale farmers, commercial farmers, factories, and logistics centers. In March, the Israel Innovation Authority awarded the company an impact grant as part of its Grand Challenges Israel program targeting companies tackling humanitarian and public health challenges.
· Founded in 2018 and already attracting global attention, Sufresca develops edible coatings designed to lengthen fruit and vegetables’ shelf life. Each coating is tailored to the specific fruit or vegetable. Tomatoes, garlic, pepper, and pomegranate arils are the company’s first focuses, and Sufresca also has an eye on future products for cucumbers, asparagus, melons, bananas, and watermelons.
· Genie is helping tackle last-mile distribution challenges with smart ovens can heat, cool, microwave, and steam pre-made meal pods. The company aims to reduce waste by ensuring that food is prepared in precise, single-serving portion sizes, and its meals are free of artificial preservatives, chemicals, and other additives.
With the global population set to spike to 9.8 billion by 2050, the world will have about two billion extra mouths to feed over the next 30 years. Reducing food waste will be essential to meeting the needs of a swelling population in a smart and sustainable way. The Start-Up Nation’s foodtech and AgTech ecosystems are rising to the challenge.