Mar 25, 2024

UpFood and Blendhub: Upcycled ingredients made from surplus fruit and veg expands reach

31-Aug-2023 - Last updated on 31-Aug-2023 at 13:33 GMT

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Spanish food production network Blendhub operates a Food-as-a-Service, with partners ranging from farmer associations to formulators, and ingredients suppliers.

This latter category now includes Danish start-up UpFood, which has partnered with Blendhub to achieve the joint goal of making ‘nutritious and affordable products available to more people in more places’.

“Blendhub is operating a global Food-as-a-Service business model where value aligned people and organisations can collaborate to create shared value,”​ Blendhub founder and CEO Henrik Stamm Kristensen told FoodNavigator.

Dutch start-up UpFood was founded in 2018 by Sajjad Haider, who had food waste on his mind. Every year, millions of tons of food is lost at post-harvest and storage levels because farmers cannot immediately sell, process, or safely store their surplus produce.

UpFood aims to offer a low-cost and sustainable technical solution to preserve and process this surplus food. In collaboration with both farmers and the food industry, the start-up uses its patent pending, solar-powered fruit and vegetable drying technology to upcycle surplus produce into ‘nutritious’ and shelf-stable dried food ingredients – at the source.

The standard model has the capacity to dry one megaton of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, but the dryer capacity can be scaled and customised to a capacity from 50kg/day suitable for smallholder farmers up to 10MT per day for industrial production.

“UpFood’s technology is facilitating upcycling of large volumes of fresh food waste using a low cost, off-grid and automatically controlled and CO2 neutral drying process creating food ingredients which can be sent back into the food value chain,” ​explained Kristensen.

The dryer can not only be deployed at post-harvest level, but also in any production plant as a drying unit prior before the powder processing stage.

The collaboration will help optimise the sourcing of plant-based raw materials for the development of new ingredients, while fighting waste.

According to Kristensen, thanks to the tie-up, Blendhub now offers the possibility of incorporating its technologies to suppliers, customers, investors and business partners to accelerate the development of local and sustainable food production.

“The new offering of these valuable powder-based food ingredients will give us, our platform partners and customers, the possibility to incorporate these ingredients into food recipes ranging from powder based personalised nutrition to bakery, ice creams, vegan based foods and beverages, and many other existing and novel food applications.”​

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