According to the U.N. approximately 739 million people are starving around the world. This is a shocking figure which is only made worse by the fact that 30-40% of all food produced worldwide is wasted. This waste has devastating environmental, social and economic consequences that are estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation to be worth approximately $2.6trillion. We are unnecessarily releasing greenhouse gases, impacting biodiverse ecosystems and wasting an immense amount of energy and water annually to produce food that never makes it to someone’s plate.
I am ashamed to admit how often I have bought a beautiful punnet of strawberries and raspberries, only to find them uneaten and mouldy at the back of my fridge a few days later – a familiar story for millions of households worldwide. However, we need to tackle food waste not only in our homes but in all stages of the food supply chain. When it comes to technological breakthroughs, few have the potential to tackle food waste for growers, packers, retailers and homes, as radically and effectively as Vitabeam. Vitabeam has created a world-first LED light bar, which emits a unique combination of light wavelengths called VQe (Vitabeam Quantum energy). These patented VQe wavelengths provide a crucial solution to many food problems via their unique properties:
- VQe stimulates photosynthesis, increasing growth and yield in plants, and delaying cell senescence in harvested produce to prolong freshness, and
- VQe actively kills bacteria and mould pathogens, improving plant health and minimising the microbial load on fresh food, extending shelf-life and increasing food safety.
Growers are constantly battling to minimise the amount of produce they lose due to infections. However, despite changing regulations and environmental impacts, chemicals and fungicides prevail as a short-term solution, but one they do not wish to use. Vitabeam has an elegant and cost-effective alternative solution in the form of their VQe MaxStrip light bar, which growers can easily retrofit as an addition to their existing grow-light setups. Produce is supplied with unique, chemical-free, non-UV wavelengths of light that kill pathogens, increase yield and boost nutrient uptake. This means a rapid positive return on investment for the grower.
“At Vitabeam, we are incredibly passionate about helping reduce global food-waste, increasing food safety, and food security at every stage from farm to fork” – James Millichap-Merrick, CEO
To further enhance food waste reduction, harvested produce can then be treated using Vitabeam’s Steril Max technology, which combines VQe and UV. VQe penetrates the surface of produce, so when combined with UV it provides incredibly rigorous sterilisation. This eliminates the need for chemical washing, ensuring consumers receive safe, clean, tasty produce.
The next major stage of food waste is in supermarkets. Perishable food including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and seafood are constantly attacked by pathogens and go “bad” before they are sold. Vitabeam’s MaxStrips are designed to be easily installed in display cabinets, constantly protecting produce by ensuring they are pathogen-free, extending shelf-life, and reducing waste. Trials have demonstrated that the MaxStrip can reduce the wastage of fresh produce by 25-30%, with a fast ROI (6-9 months for retailers), helping businesses to save money as well as food.
Finally, we get back to my kitchen (the site of many a food mishap) – how can I reduce my food waste? VQe can be integrated into refrigerators, so food lasts longer, as well as staying safe from pathogens. This means I can happily enjoy into my fresh and ripened fruit many days later!
Vitabeam has not just invented grow lights, it has invented an innovative solution that helps to solve food waste, safety, and scarcity problems, working to form meaningful partnerships to tackle these global issues. From the smallest local greenhouse to the largest supermarket and everything in-between, the future is brighter with Vitabeam.
For more details, you can reach out to Emily Cameron firstname.lastname@example.org, Business Development and Marketing Manager, Vitabeam Ltd.