Grow It! Eat It ! Don’t Throw It! – A Jackpot Worth Rs. 5,00,000 for BITians
It is not an exaggeration to say that food waste is one of the biggest problems facing mankind today.
India, the world’s 2nd largest producer of fruits and vegetables, throws away fresh produce worth Rs 13,300 crore every year because of the lack of adequate cold storage facilities and refrigerated transport.
“The value of fruits, vegetables and grains wastage in India, at Rs 44,000 crore annually. Fruits and vegetables account for the largest portion of that wastage. 18 % of India’s fruit and vegetable production valued at Rs 13,300 crore is wasted annually,”
– Data compiled in a new report by Emerson Climate Technologies India.
Currently, India has 6,300 cold storage facilities unevenly spread across the country, with an installed capacity of 30.11 million metric tonnes.
Studies have shown this is half the amount of cold storage facilities that India actually needs. Cold storage capacity for all food products in the country should be more than 61 million metric tonnes, it said.
To reach that target, the report says an investment of more than Rs 55,000 crore is needed by 2015-2016 just to keep up with growing fruit and vegetable production levels.
BITians Vegetables and Fruits Wastage Reduction Model
In order to reduce this wastage, Our Bannari Amman Institute of Technology students designed a model which would help in preserving vegetables and fruits before getting rotten during long-distance transport and while stored in food factories. They believe that their model would lend a hand in India’s wastage reduction process.
The three BITians,
Giridaran T P (191EC140),
Goutham B (191EC144) and
Indraprasath N M (191EC161)
from first-year ECE department, have designed a model to reduce the vegetables and fruits wastages.
In their analysis, the students state that the main cause for the wastage of fruits and vegetables occurs during long-distance transport. As they were arranged in trays one above the other, at the time of supply the trays placed at the top were delivered first. But the bottom positioned trays might travel a long distance and they would be supplied at last.
Due to far distance travel, the temperature in the bottom trays was raised. As there is no air, the fruits and vegetables were wasted. We have a simple solution to this issue. In fact, in total, every year the industry disposes of almost 400,000 tons of rotten tomatoes.
To make it worse, these most often end up in landfills, where they are a major hazard as they generate methane, or they get dumped in water bodies, where they affect the aquatic ecosystem.
Our BITians have designed a simple model for this issue. In that, the body of the truck is segmented into a number of slots. The temperature, humidity and methane levels were monitored in each slot. The changes in these levels will denote the slot of product which will rotten soon. This may help the supplier to supply the fruits and vegetables in good condition before it gets rotten.
In case of methane detection, that slot of fruits and vegetables will be decomposed before delivery.
Since this is a minute change made in the setup of the real-time model of a truck, this can preserve many fruits and vegetables from wastage. This can play a main role in the economic wealth of our nation. Many farmers’ lives can be saved by this simple change.
The BITians team participated in the HACKOHOLICS organised by AIC RAISE. This design model was awarded one-year free amazon cloud worth Rs. 2 Lakhs and credit worth Rs. 3 Lakhs in amazon. This credit allows them to buy electrical components which are required for further projects. Also, the students were given the opportunity for internship cum placement at AIC RAISE with attractive salary package.
“HACKOHOLICS” is organised by AIC RAISE supported by AIM, NITI Aayog Government of India. The Hackathon calls for students, youngsters, social innovators, impact entrepreneurs and others interested in social innovations.
Around 1500 students have participated in this event from various parts of the country. The best 15 teams were shortlisted and called for the 30 hours hackathon held at AIC RAISE Incubation centre Coimbatore during 2nd and 3rd March 2020.
Why should we be concerned?
Food waste is truly bad for the environment. It takes a landmass larger than China to grow the food each year that is ultimately never eaten – land that has been deforested, species that have been driven to extinction, indigenous populations that have been moved, soil that has been degraded – all to produce food that we then just throw away. In addition, food that is never eaten accounts for 25% of all freshwater consumption globally.
Even though the world produces enough food to feed twice the world’s present population, Food Wastage is ironically behind the billions of people who are malnourished. The number of hungry people in India has increased by 65 million more than the population of France. According to a survey by Bhook (an organization working towards reducing hunger) in 2018, 20 crore Indians sleep hungry on any given night. About 7 million children died in 2019 because of hunger/malnutrition.
This must be changed. And we believe that our BITians’ invention can provide some solution to these problems.
5 Tips to Reduce fruits and vegetable wastage at your home
1. STORE FRUITS AND VEGGIES PROPERLY TO PREVENT WASTE
Proper food storage will make sure your fruits and vegetables live their best life and give you maximum flavour and nutrition while they’re in your kitchen.
Not all produce likes the same environment once it’s picked. Some things, like tomatoes, onions and garlic, do best at room temperature.
Bananas, potatoes, and some citrus do better in a cool dry spot that’s not the fridge. Mushrooms do well stored in a brown paper bag.
2. DIY PEEL TEAS
A healthy flavour-packed drink, a fruit peel tea is the perfect way to warm your soul on a cold day.
The most popular versions of this detox drink are pomegranate peel tea, orange peel tea and apple peel tea. These peels have more antioxidants (such as flavonoids, phenolics, and anthocyanidins) than even the pulp inside.
Packed with immunity-boosting vitamins, anti-inflammatory flavonoids and bone-building calcium, the peels of citrus fruits (oranges, sweet limes and lemons) offer a wide range of health benefits. So before you peel your citrus fruit, take a few minutes to grate the skin and make your own zest, add it to an airtight container and store it in the freezer.
If you make a lot more lemon zest or orange zest than you would use yourself, you could also gift it to a friend who loves baking or cooking!
3. NO WASTE OF THYME
Fresh herbs like coriander, mint, parsley etc. are some of the most perishable items in the kitchen.
If you have some wilting herb leaves in your fridge or herb stems on your chopping board, don’t throw them away. They can be added to salads, soups or aromatic rasam.
4. ORGANIZE THE KITCHEN WITH FIFO
“FIFO – First In, First Out” and is a useful way to organize food at home. Many restaurants and grocery stores use this system to reduce waste, too.
Placing newly bought foods at the back of the cupboard or fridge will encourage people to use the food in the front row first, which will ensure freshness and reduce waste.
5. COMPOST SCRAPS
Most meal preparation leaves scraps from the stems, peels, and unusable bits of food.
Creating a compost heap is one way to help reduce waste by turning even these scraps into nutrient-rich fertilizer.
For people who do not have a garden or space for a composter or compost heap, many municipalities run composting programs.
Reducing food waste benefits individuals in many ways, including saving money from buying and wasting less food.
- food wastage: food navigator
- Vegetable lorry unloading: The Hindu
- jackpot-slot-casino-machine-one-arm-bandit-vector-15875674: Vectorstock
- food-waste: foxnews
- fruits and vegetables wastages: wikipedia
- fruits and vegetabales storage: health hatch
- orange peel tea: alton-brown
- coriander stem: the better india
- FIFO Kitchen: buzzfeed
- compost scraps: the garden
- Vegetables wastages: world economic forum