Ekayu's contribution to a "Zero fruit waste economy"
Everyone is aware of the fact that with time, the resources are depleting. The current backbone of nearly every technology is the end product. The shrinking landfill zones, depletion of water resources, heavy metal poisoning, population growth and many such modern problems have one thing is common, which is inability to create new resources to sustain such a large human population. The main aim of a zero fruit waste economy is to find solution to two major problems, i.e. reduction of waste from a production process and using the same to enhance nutritional property of the product.
The concept of "Ekayu powder" is unique in its own as its not a fortified powder, but is meant to fortify the currently existing products. The technology developed to prepare this powder aims at formulating it in a way which can be readily mixed with commonly used flours and enhance the physical properties of the food.
One may ask that why has it not been done before, if its sounds that easy?
In our view, the ancient medical textbooks of India such as Charak Samhita and Ayurveda, have already mentioned the fruit fibre preparations in treating many disorders. As said by Hippocrates "Let your food be the medicine", the Indian preparations mention the recipes, which can prevent diseases such as coronary heart diseases from happening. The possible mechanism to prevent such life style disorders is a continuous supply of ingredients such as dietary fibre in food. As shown in many studies, the fibres are food for our gut bacteria, also called prebiotics. Thus, Ekayu powder is perhaps an easier approach to tackle a range of lifestyle disorders.
The requirement of preparing a powder instead of directly consuming peels is related to the ease and safety of the product. Due to presence of bioactives and sugars in a rich moisture environment, the spoilage of peels is quick. This is one of the challenges involved in preparing the formulation, a vacuum drying at low temperature is under trials and methods such as microwave drying were already found to be working. The next challenge is energy requirement which can be researched upon, based on the quantity of feedstock to be dried at a given time.
Nevertheless, Ekayu powder supports the fruit processing economy by reaching one step closer towards a zero waste processing.