2022-10-19 12:03Press release

Food Tech company with bio-based coating for fruit and vegetables gets grant from Agricultural European Innovation Partnership

Vahid Sohrabpour CSO and Arash Fayyazi COO at Saveggy. Photo: Green Challenge.Vahid Sohrabpour CSO and Arash Fayyazi COO at Saveggy. Photo: Green Challenge.

Saveggy develops a biobased coating as an alternative to protective plastic currently used to prolong the shelf life of fruit and vegetables. The company has now received a 3,9 Mio SEK grant from Agricultural European Innovation Partnership for a project to develop a production process in a pilot plant, to technically validate the product and finally do a commercial validation in partnership with ICA and Svenska Odlarlaget.

Saveggy is a science-based company and a member of SmiLe incubator in Lund.

Globally, about 45% of fruits and vegetables gets wasted. As the ecological rucksack of food production is heavy (carbon footprint, water use and land use), the environmental impact of wasted food is significant. A powerful method to reduce food waste, is to extend the shelf life of food. For this, often cheap plastic packaging is used. However, the petroleum-based plastic material is exceedingly difficult and costly to recycle. And specially for food, virgin plastic is required. Beside the negative impact on carbon footprint of producing plastic packaging, these materials are also harmful for nature. Recent studies show micro and nano plastics in oceans, in snowflakes, on top of mountains and in human blood.

Saveggy’s products extend the shelf-life of fresh fruits and vegetables using a bio-based protection and eliminates the need for plastic packaging. The product is applied on fruits or vegetables by dipping or spraying after the harvest.

“We started collaborating with ICA in an early phase of the innovation work. The discussions led to a deeper understanding of ICA's value chain and the requirements that are set at each step to meet consumer expectations. Our continued development work was therefore adapted to meet the requirements”, the founders of Saveggy say.

From the consumer study, we see that consumer curiosity and openness to coating is higher than we had dared to hope for, which is positive, says Marcus Welin Sandgren, purchasing manager for fruit, assortment and purchasing at ICA Sweden.

Saveggy is honoured to be supported by Swedish Board of Agriculture that handles the grant. It enables Saveggy to put the first generation of its products to the market.

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SmiLe Incubator is a life science business incubator based in Medicon Village in Lund, Sweden. SmiLe helps entrepreneurs commercialize their ideas. There are currently 30 companies in SmiLe which, together with alumni companies, have attracted more than EUR 664 million in venture capital to date since 2014. SmiLe offers excellent business coaching, a broad international network of contacts and a dynamic community, as well as well-equipped laboratories which is unique of its kind in Sweden. SmiLe is a non-profit organization and receives basic funding from Region Skåne, Lund Municipality, Lund University and Medicon Village. SmiLe´s sponsors are Agilent, Sparbanken Skåne, Awa, Høiberg, Prevas, Setterwalls, Zacco, Magle Chemoswed, NanoTemper Technologies, Phase Holographic Imaging and ChemoMetec. SmiLe’s 20 listed alumni companies have a market capitalization of more than EUR 824 million (Q4 2021). www.smileincubator.life