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biotech

Plant packaging extends the shelf life of food

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Indian agri-biotech startup GreenPod Labs has shown it can significantly extend the shelf life of fresh produce using packaging containing plant extracts that slow the ripening process.

We first invested in GreenPod Labs because we believed in the co-founders, Deepak Rajmohan and Vijay Anand, and their mission to create organic solutions to extend shelf life of fresh produce post harvest.

Mark Durno, Managing Partner AgriFood, Rockstart 

India loses billions of dollars due to food waste every year, with 40% of produce lost before it even gets the chance to reach the consumer. Worldwide one-third is lost annually, more than $1 trillion worth, causing terrible human suffering.

Which makes innovative companies like GreenPod Labs so important. Its biotech-based packaging sachets offer an alternative to expensive cold storage options, out of reach of most farmers, which in tests have added up to 12 days of shelf life to items like tomatoes, mangos and capsicums, the first three crops it is launching products for just now, with an additional four more products planned for this year.

Deepak Rajmohan, co-founder, GreenPod Labs, says India, the world’s “second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables” is taking a crippling $12 billion economic hit from food waste every year due to a “lack of proper storage facilities

“At GreenPod Labs, we are committed to solving this issue by developing cost-effective storage solutions,” he adds. “Our core objective is to create sustainable packaging products to minimise agricultural food wastage in India.”

Recent funding from the likes of Rockstart, an early-stage investor, and the Indian Angel Network (IAN), the world’s largest business angel network will, Deepak says, be used to “bolster R&D, both for biotech products and data science platforms, as we look forward to commercially scaling our three core products this year.”

The big winners will be the farmers, Deepak says, as every rupee invested in the packaging will return a minimum of 10 rupees, according to the co-founder.

Uday Chatterjee, Lead Investor, IAN, added: “GreenPod Labs is revolutionising the Agri-biotech industry. They have been building a range of innovative biotech-based solutions for prolonging the life of fresh produce at ambient temperature. It is a one-of-its-kind initiative that caters to agricultural producers, distributors, and retailers to help them extend the fresh produce shelf life during transport and storage by 40%.

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Written By

Susan is the co-founder of Innovators Magazine and a consultant for OnePoint5 Media. Susan is also a member of the UNFCCC-led Resilience Frontiers Nexus group and co-chair of the APOPO Foundation UK board.

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