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Israeli Company Fights World Hunger

November 11, 2014

“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.  Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.”  (Isaiah 58:10)

Around the world, about one in eight people are undernourished.

Over one half to two thirds of the food that is grown worldwide does not reach the market due to poor transportation and storage leading to spoilage.

If prevented, this loss could alleviate the hunger of hundreds of millions in need of food.

world hunger

About 805 million people in the world are hungry.

Now an Israeli company, Pimi Agro, has come up with a solution to this universal problem with an all-natural method of preserving produce.

The company has created a hydrogen peroxide based formulation that extends shelf life.  With it, fruits and vegetable can remain fresh up to 10 weeks, significantly cutting the loss of foodstuffs during the transportation process.

Noting that transportation is a problem in many third world countries such as China and India, company CTO and co-founder Nimrod Ben-Yehuda said, “You could walk from one end of India to the other over a period of 10 weeks, and the vegetables and fruit you carry will still be fresh for the entire time.”  (Times of Israel)

While the new process can extend the shelf life of produce by as much as 1,500 percent, it also kills a wide range of diseases and fungi without using chemical pesticides or fungicides, which often contain copper sulphate or chlorine—even those used by organic growers.

“Listeria, which has been a culprit in many cases of recent food poisoning at American fast food restaurants, is killed within 60 seconds of applying our products.  As a result, farmers and wholesalers can cut down on their use of fungicides,” said Ben-Yehuda.

The company’s claims are backed up by decades of research, six world patents and 150 rigorous tests in the US and Europe.

The product is based on 99.4 percent Stabilized Hydrogen Peroxide (STHP), which decomposes into oxygen and water, leaving no chemical residue.

Arab-Israeli village in the Galilee region of northern Israel

An Arab-Israeli market in Israel’s Galilee region.

The formulation took Ben Yehuda 15 years of working with researchers at the Technion and at Hebrew University to come up with the other 0.6 percent that makes his application both effective and unique.

The 0.6 percent of additives has been categorized as edible acids and declared by the EPA and EU food safety agencies as both safe and organic.  The exact formulation varies depending on the produce application.

Pimi Agro has persuaded some big distributors to test their product.

“We’ve been speaking to Wal-Mart about how to market produce treated with our products.  They’re not necessarily organic, but they are much healthier than ordinary produce—besides having a much longer shelf life—because farmers can cut down significantly on the use of fungicides,” Ben-Yehuda said.  (No Camels)

They are also working with SunPacific, one of the largest shippers of citrus fruit in the US to prove the effectiveness of their innovative process.

As well, the company is working with such major food producers as Pepsico, FritoLay, and BASF to promote their application while several of their products are already on the market serving customers in Israel, the US, Germany, the UK, Canada, Japan, and Russia.  (Times of Israel)

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