International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) tackling food waste

At International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), Uncommon Sense is used to create what the world needs. As a collective of unconventional thinkers and creators,  science and artistry are put to work to create unique and unexpected scents, tastes, experiences and ingredients for the products our world craves. Most importantly, however, IFF highlights the issues of food loss, waste and the urgent need for circular food systems.

The challenges

While IFF has not yet set any specific targets for solving food loss, it does have a pipeline of potential projects to explore what can be achieved, as well as several completed pilots. One of these focused on spinach. A significant fraction of spinach crops is not collected at farms due to overproduction beyond the retail supermarket demand.  When processing material as a result of post-harvest loss, farmers generally sell produce cheaply or give it away for free, whereas the associated wastes represents potential revenue opportunities.

The work

IFF worked with its partners to collect this spinach, dry it using POWDERPURE’s technology, and turn it into nutrient-rich powdered spinach that could be sold to its customers for use in, for example, nutritional beverage powders or snack bars.

During the pilot program, 400 metric tonnes of raw spinach was collected, processed and incorporated into various products. This created additional revenues of USD $ 1.3 million. IFF is now committed to increasing the number of pilot programs designed to tackle food loss and waste.

The work

IFF worked with its partners to collect this spinach, dry it using POWDERPURE’s technology, and turn it into nutrient-rich powdered spinach that could be sold to its customers for use in, for example, nutritional beverage powders or snack bars.

During the pilot program, 400 metric tonnes of raw spinach was collected, processed and incorporated into various products. This created additional revenues of USD $ 1.3 million. IFF is now committed to increasing the number of pilot programs designed to tackle food loss and waste.

The participants

In 2018, IFF launched EcoEffective+, a series of environmental goals for science-based emission reductions, zero waste to landfill and water stewardship. As part of its strategy, IFF bought POWDERPURE, a company that pioneered the use of a gentle infrared drying technology to transform fruit and vegetables into a powdered form. Unlike traditional drying methods, the technology does not rely on heat or vacuum pressure to remove water, and therefore it removes the water while retaining the nutrients, color and taste of the original produce.

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