Instead of Throwing Away Food, This Company Transforms It

Cool technology turns discarded fruits and veggies into next-generation snacks that could save the world.

Almost half of the food produced in the world goes to waste. This, while millions of people go hungry. A California company is doing something about that, with a new technology that could feed people with snacks and other foods created from fruits and vegetables that would otherwise land up in a landfill.

The company is Treasure , based in San Francisco. Their concept is one of those "why didn't someone think of that sooner?" moments. Treasure8's founders partnered with the USDA and U.C. Davis to invent the Sauna Machine, a giant dehydrator that speed dries food while preserving the nutrients, flavors and colors of fruits, vegetables, and fungi, creating crunchy, crispy and tasty products without frying or oil.

The patented Sauna Machine can suck out 97% of a food's water in less than an hour.

While they do process some Grade A food, Treasure8's bigger goal is to "rescue" food that would otherwise be thrown away: those weird looking carrots or bruised apples that no one would buy, even scraps left over from traditional food processing. Their products require no new agriculture.

Ground Rules chips are the company's first foray into producing and marketing the end result of their process (there are sweet potato, beet and apple chip versions). One Smart Cookie, cookies that are composed of 25% dehydrated vegetables, should be available later this year, according to Fast Company .

CEO Timothy Childs envisions a world where there are Sauna machines inside food processing factories and distribution centers, turning food that might otherwise have been wasted, into snacks and other products with as much nutrients as a meal. Feeding the world while keeping at least some of the 1.3 billion tons of wasted food out of landfills.

(Images: Treasure8 website )

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