A new startup aims to revolutionize food storage and storage with technology that keeps meat, fish and other foods fresh at extremely low temperatures, without freezing or hardening them.
“More than a third of the food we produce now is simply wasted or lost in some way. This has a lot to do with how we store food and how we store it, "he says Paul Levins , co-founder of EverCase, this is the name of the company.
Fresh and elastic foods
EverCase's technology, in short, is able to keep the food, preventing it from becoming a piece of ice, even at temperatures as low as -12 ° C. The special containers that are the strong point of the startup can house anything from whole fish to steaks and berries, and can be stored in normal freezers.
Levins and his partner, CEO and co-founder Chris Somogyi, were intrigued by a technology developed by Soojin Jun, professor at the University of Hawaii. Jun's Food Processing Lab studies ways to preserve fresh foods by supercooling.
How does the system work?
As you know, when food freezes, ice crystals damage cell structures. This also makes a difference when we eat: it's the reason why a frozen steak tastes ... frozen, it doesn't taste the same as fresh food.
At low temperatures, Jun discovered how to prevent the formation of ice crystals in food by using electric and magnetic fields to make food "resist" freezing as it is chilled.
A result that required years of experiments with electric fields. And even when researchers found the right key to making this technology work, they didn't quite understand their exact influence on ice formation.
But there will be time to understand, right? Meanwhile, the system does what it needs to do. The cold chain for keeping fresh food could be revolutionized. Take a look for yourself.
The next steps
Bringing this technology to large-scale industrial application presents several hurdles. For example, the strength of electromagnetic fields decreases with distance from the source. It might be worth a try, though: there is another large extension of the shelf life of fresh foods at stake. With a similar technology we could have any food at any time of the year and with characteristics much closer to the original ones.
Before the future brings us home electromagnetic refrigerators, however, EverCase is ready for the corporate market. After testing over 20 prototypes, the startup has one ready for food producers and freight forwarders.
The advantages? Two come to mind. The first, immediate: another blow to food waste, which we would be able to further reduce. The second: who said that this technology only works for fresh food? I have an idea (and even EverCase founders themselves) that it could be very useful for storing organs and tissues for transplantation.
If they are roses, they will freeze. Indeed no.