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Putting farm food waste to good use

Putting farm food waste to good use

Trendi on its way to becoming biggest global producer and distributor of shelf-stable, upcycled ingredients

By Braxten Breen Intern

Did you know that here in Canada, about 35.5 million tonnes of food is wasted each year. Making up to 60% of our food that is produced, of that waste, 48% of waste comes from the farm.

According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, around 14 percent of the world's food is lost after harvest, up to - but not including the retail stage of the supply chain, and an estimated 17 per cent is wasted in retail and at the consumption level.

Curtis Wong, a partner at Trendi, provided an overview of his company’s solution to reducing food waste on farms. His presentation was given at the 2022 Western Precision Agriculture Conference & Ag Technology Showcase.

What if we could extend the life of the food from days to years, by retaining up to 97% of the original nutrients and flavour, while also decreasing the transportation and storage costs of food up to 90%. Trendi uses robotics to help farms, as well as the food industry, rescue and upcycle good waste into products of value to the food chain.

Trendi uses robotic modular processing that works at the source of waste to rescue and upcycle food into shelf-stable ingredients. Trendi uses a series of blended technologies to optimize the processing workflow to each produce item, turning food waste into revenue.

Trendi’s simple framework is as follows:

  1. Where food is wasted, capture it on site when it’s fresh
  2. Wash, sanitize and pre-process it
  3. Dry it into shelf-stable flakes and powders
  4. Package the upcycled ingredients
  5. Sell to food and beverage companies, nutraceutical manufacturers, and pet food brands
  6. Share the profit back with the farm

Bio Trim is a mobile truck that can travel from farm to farm - “We’re going to take your produce, wash and sanitize it, and then reprocess it. We cut it and dice it -- essentially freeze drying it. We take it down to a powder to harness 97% of its nutrient base. With the moisture removed it is now 10 percent of its original weight and now has 18 months to three years of shelf life with proper packaging.”

Wong explained that the upcycled ingredients can be used to create a number of different products, including packaged foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, pet food, and textiles to name just a few.

Trendi is hoping it can become the biggest global producer and distributor of shelf-stable, upcycled ingredients and lead the way to a more sustainable food system.

To learn more about Trendi’s innovation Bio Trim, check out the video below.

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