EvapCooler

“REDEFINING PRESERVATION”

A portable, durable and affordable nanogel based evaporative cooler for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh using only sunlight and water.

Use Case

Immediately after harvest farmers and vendors in developing nations transport produce over long distances on crowded, at times open vehicles or even on foot along narrow bumpy roads and sell in street markets with no form of temperature protection. This results in 45% fruits and vegetables getting spoiled before reaching the consumer causing losses. Due to lack of electricity and high initial cost traditional refrigeration is impossible and alternatives like solar or swamp coolers on the market are difficult for them to use with their limited technical skills and servicing availability. Also their tedious journeys require more portability and sturdiness whilst their budgets struggle with battery and repairs costs. A product designed specifically with their needs in view is required.

Potential

By introducing an effective cooling alternative for storage and transportation of fruits and vegetables, Evapcooler reduces their bruising and microbial growth, lowering spoilage rate and almost doubling shelf life. This leads to more market supply and less wastage of agricultural resources (land, capital, energy, water) thus raising incomes of farmers & vendors whilst lowering prices for consumers; both of which will boost food security. Starting with 4 million farmers and 16 million mouths in Bangladesh, we will later expand to developing nations in Asia, Africa and South America (most of where the product need exists and up to 70% of the population is involved in agriculture and around 1/3rd children are malnourished) thus significantly contributing to feeding 9 billion people by 2050.

Business Case

Evapcooler is a nanogel based evaporative cooling chamber that uses just sunlight & water and is specially designed for effective use by farmers and vendors in developing nations. When we go into full scale operations it can be sold for only $20 and give users a Return on Investment of 27.7% in the first year. It requires no running costs only small amount of non-potable water (easily available for free) and is made of lightweight, sturdy material that ensures longevity, ease of carrying and use. By simply reducing food loss during farm storage, transport and at market more is made available with no additional resource inputs. Increased shelf life will mean produce has higher chances of outliving demand slumps. Overall 33% of current wastage can be prevented in Bangladesh using Evapcooler.

Objectives:

  1. Double shelf life of fruits and vegetables to cut down spoilage by 33% and improve efficient utilization of agricultural resources.
  2. Minimize losses encountered by farmers and vendors due to spoilage and facilitate a demand driven supply chain.
  3. Increase supply of nutritious fruits and vegetables to the market to give better quality, quantity and affordability for consumers.

Team Challenge Accepted

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Our Team

SUBMISSION DONE! / Published January 11, 2016 by Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

SUBMISSION DONE!

We Team Challenge Accepted have submitted our final pitch on our idea "EvapCooler". The whole journey has been a lot of fun so far!

Idea Parkers / Published January 10, 2016 by Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

Idea Parkers

All of our ideas throughout this awesome journey. Hopefully we have found THE SOLUTION to feed 9 billion people come 2050!

THE SCIENCE BEHIND EVAPORATIVE COOLING / Published January 7, 2016 by Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

THE SCIENCE BEHIND EVAPORATIVE COOLING

Evaporative cooling is something we have all experienced at some point. Wearing a damp shirt on a warm but windy day gives us a chill. Evaporative cooling is based on a physical phenomenon in which evaporation of a liquid (usually water) into surrounding air cools an object or a liquid in contact with it. As the liquid turns to a gas, the phase change absorbs heat. Technically, this is called the “latent heat of evaporation”. Water is an excellent coolant because it is plentiful, non-toxic, and evaporates easily in most climates.
Evaporative cooling can also be used extensively in preserving fruits and vegetables. Horticultural produce are stored at lower temperature because of their highly perishable nature. There are many methods to cool the environment. Hence, preserving these types of foods in their fresh form demands that the chemical, bio-chemical and physiological changes are restricted to a minimum by close control of space temperature and humidity. The high cost involved in developing cold storage or controlled atmosphere storage is a pressing problem in several developing countries. Evaporative cooling is a well-known system to be an efficient and economical means for reducing the temperature and increasing the relative humidity in an enclosure and this effect has been extensively tried for increasing the shelf life of horticultural produce in some tropical and subtropical countries. Thus, the evaporative cooler has prospect for use for short term preservation of vegetables and fruits soon after harvest. Zero energy cooling system could be used effectively for short-duration storage of fruits and vegetables even in hilly region. It not only reduces the storage temperature but also increases the relative humidity of the storage which is essential for maintaining the freshness of the commodities.

Global food wastage- the bane of farmers' existence? / Published January 7, 2016 by Sami Tahsin

Global food wastage- the bane of farmers' existence?

Bangladesh, like many other developing countries, has a very low food waste on a consumer level. This is because most middle class or lower middle class families never even consider the possibility of throwing food away. Surplus food is either divided among extended family or given to poor people nearby.
HOWEVER- despite the fact that food wastage in Bangladesh is low on a consumer level, crop losses during harvest are huge! This, in turn, fuels the suffering of the farmers.
Pre- and post-harvest losses are not negligible in Bangladesh. As a result of the use of traditional harvesting methods coupled with low use of post harvesting techniques, farmers in the country lose on average 7% of Boro and Aman paddy, resulting in approximately Tk2.3bn in losses every year, finds a study of the Rural Development Academy, a state-run organisation.“Seven percent loss in grains may not seem like a terrific figure, but in terms of cash, it is. The country has to suffer a loss of Tk2.3bn every year during the Boro and Aman seasons alone,” said AKM Zakaria, director of agriculture at the Bogra-based RDA.
The research report also mentioned that delayed harvesting could contribute to a huge amount of grain losses, during the reaping, transporting and handling of the harvested crops. The percentage of loss can be between 20% and 60%. “Lack of technology in harvesting and processing level is causing higher production loss in the developing nations like Bangladesh, where investment for that technology is not easy,” said Ahsan Uddin Ahmed, a Bangladeshi environmentalist.
Thus, Bangladeshi farmers lose their livelihood and lands, and they and their families are left on their own to struggle with starvation and misery.
Furthermore, this problem is not only limited to the boundaries of Bangladesh. Such case is true for farmers all over the world- food wastage creates disadvantages to whoever is directly or indirectly related to agriculture.
Such is the pain of the farmers, created by global food wastage.
Being the sole heavy-lifters in fulfilling the responsibility of feeding an entire nation, these farmers do not deserve such early demise. Therefore, actions must be taken to relieve these valuable stakeholders of the global food chain.

The Science behind Food Wastage / Published January 7, 2016 by Sami Tahsin

The Science behind Food Wastage

A report published January 10, 2013, in the UK-based newspaper the Guardian, stated almost half of the world’s food had been thrown away. What an abomination!
Why is it that the consumers in wealthy countries discard 222m tonnes of food every year, which is almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa, 230m tonnes?
In developed countries, people only need to allocate around 25% of their income for food, which gives them more options, which ultimately turns to wastage. On the other hand, rate of food wastage on consumer level is very low in developing nations like Bangladesh, as most people in these countries are bound to allocate around 70% of their income for food.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), annual per capita food wasted by consumers in Europe and North-America was 95-115 kg, while Sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia wasted only 6-11 kg. The FAO also reported that the total annual per capita production of edible parts of food for human consumption is, in Europe and North-America, about 900 kg, and in sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia, 460 kg. The annual per capita food loss in Europe and North America was 280-300kg, and in sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia it is 120-170kg.
However, the report further suggested that 30-50% of the global food (approximately 1.2-2bn tonnes) produced annually in the world actually never reach consumers for consumption!
Thus, the issue of food loss can be attributed not only to consumer behavior, but also to inappropriate infrastructure and storage facility, poor engineering and agriculture practices.
For instance, huge pre- and post-harvest losses occur as result of the use of traditional harvesting methods. Delayed harvesting also contributes to a huge amount of grain losses, during the reaping, transporting and handling of the harvested crops. The percentage of loss can be between 20% and 60%. Lack of technology in harvesting and processing level is another major issue- causing higher production loss in the developing nations like Bangladesh, where investment for that technology is not easy.
The FAO’s global initiative on food losses and waste reduction suggested strengthening the supply chain through the direct support of farmers and investments in infrastructure, transportation and post-harvest techniques. They also suggested an expansion of the food and packaging industry to help to reduce the amount of food loss and waste.
Yet, unfortunately, scientists predict that approximately one billion people around the world are ‘going hungry’ and further two billion people will be affected due to inadequate food supply by 2050 as a result of worsening climate, food loss along the supply chain and poor food production.
Despite various initiatives with slow but steady growth, we do not know for sure as to what the future holds. We all have a responsibility to our community, yet it is our actions that are shaping up the future ever so meekly. This is what we have to fight against.

Our Mission

A journey of a thousand miles always begins with one small step. Intrigued by vast amounts of food wastage across nations due to sheer lack of proper storage facilities- we, a team of four motivated individuals have set out to tackle the domino effect of world hunger with a firewall of sustainable solution, cementing brick by brick with passion, innovation and determination- starting from our homeland, Bangladesh.

Our Background

Challenge Accepted is a team of young, talented and creative entrepreneurs motivated by the desire to eradicate burning social issues- one challenge at a time. And our recent-most endeavor is to conquer the challenge of feeding 9 billion mouths by the year 2050! We are an assorted bunch of students from Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University, united to bear the torch of change to the future on a global platform. So, are we ready to take down obstacles for bringing about social welfare? Challenge accepted!

SUBMISSION DONE! / Published January 11, 2016 by Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

SUBMISSION DONE!

We Team Challenge Accepted have submitted our final pitch on our idea "EvapCooler". The whole journey has been a lot of fun so far!

Idea Parkers / Published January 10, 2016 by Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

Idea Parkers

All of our ideas throughout this awesome journey. Hopefully we have found THE SOLUTION to feed 9 billion people come 2050!

THE SCIENCE BEHIND EVAPORATIVE COOLING / Published January 7, 2016 by Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

THE SCIENCE BEHIND EVAPORATIVE COOLING

Evaporative cooling is something we have all experienced at some point. Wearing a damp shirt on a warm but windy day gives us a chill. Evaporative cooling is based on a physical phenomenon in which evaporation of a liquid (usually water) into surrounding air cools an object or a liquid in contact with it. As the liquid turns to a gas, the phase change absorbs heat. Technically, this is called the “latent heat of evaporation”. Water is an excellent coolant because it is plentiful, non-toxic, and evaporates easily in most climates.
Evaporative cooling can also be used extensively in preserving fruits and vegetables. Horticultural produce are stored at lower temperature because of their highly perishable nature. There are many methods to cool the environment. Hence, preserving these types of foods in their fresh form demands that the chemical, bio-chemical and physiological changes are restricted to a minimum by close control of space temperature and humidity. The high cost involved in developing cold storage or controlled atmosphere storage is a pressing problem in several developing countries. Evaporative cooling is a well-known system to be an efficient and economical means for reducing the temperature and increasing the relative humidity in an enclosure and this effect has been extensively tried for increasing the shelf life of horticultural produce in some tropical and subtropical countries. Thus, the evaporative cooler has prospect for use for short term preservation of vegetables and fruits soon after harvest. Zero energy cooling system could be used effectively for short-duration storage of fruits and vegetables even in hilly region. It not only reduces the storage temperature but also increases the relative humidity of the storage which is essential for maintaining the freshness of the commodities.

Global food wastage- the bane of farmers' existence? / Published January 7, 2016 by Sami Tahsin

Global food wastage- the bane of farmers' existence?

Bangladesh, like many other developing countries, has a very low food waste on a consumer level. This is because most middle class or lower middle class families never even consider the possibility of throwing food away. Surplus food is either divided among extended family or given to poor people nearby.
HOWEVER- despite the fact that food wastage in Bangladesh is low on a consumer level, crop losses during harvest are huge! This, in turn, fuels the suffering of the farmers.
Pre- and post-harvest losses are not negligible in Bangladesh. As a result of the use of traditional harvesting methods coupled with low use of post harvesting techniques, farmers in the country lose on average 7% of Boro and Aman paddy, resulting in approximately Tk2.3bn in losses every year, finds a study of the Rural Development Academy, a state-run organisation.“Seven percent loss in grains may not seem like a terrific figure, but in terms of cash, it is. The country has to suffer a loss of Tk2.3bn every year during the Boro and Aman seasons alone,” said AKM Zakaria, director of agriculture at the Bogra-based RDA.
The research report also mentioned that delayed harvesting could contribute to a huge amount of grain losses, during the reaping, transporting and handling of the harvested crops. The percentage of loss can be between 20% and 60%. “Lack of technology in harvesting and processing level is causing higher production loss in the developing nations like Bangladesh, where investment for that technology is not easy,” said Ahsan Uddin Ahmed, a Bangladeshi environmentalist.
Thus, Bangladeshi farmers lose their livelihood and lands, and they and their families are left on their own to struggle with starvation and misery.
Furthermore, this problem is not only limited to the boundaries of Bangladesh. Such case is true for farmers all over the world- food wastage creates disadvantages to whoever is directly or indirectly related to agriculture.
Such is the pain of the farmers, created by global food wastage.
Being the sole heavy-lifters in fulfilling the responsibility of feeding an entire nation, these farmers do not deserve such early demise. Therefore, actions must be taken to relieve these valuable stakeholders of the global food chain.

The Science behind Food Wastage / Published January 7, 2016 by Sami Tahsin

The Science behind Food Wastage

A report published January 10, 2013, in the UK-based newspaper the Guardian, stated almost half of the world’s food had been thrown away. What an abomination!
Why is it that the consumers in wealthy countries discard 222m tonnes of food every year, which is almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa, 230m tonnes?
In developed countries, people only need to allocate around 25% of their income for food, which gives them more options, which ultimately turns to wastage. On the other hand, rate of food wastage on consumer level is very low in developing nations like Bangladesh, as most people in these countries are bound to allocate around 70% of their income for food.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), annual per capita food wasted by consumers in Europe and North-America was 95-115 kg, while Sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia wasted only 6-11 kg. The FAO also reported that the total annual per capita production of edible parts of food for human consumption is, in Europe and North-America, about 900 kg, and in sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia, 460 kg. The annual per capita food loss in Europe and North America was 280-300kg, and in sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia it is 120-170kg.
However, the report further suggested that 30-50% of the global food (approximately 1.2-2bn tonnes) produced annually in the world actually never reach consumers for consumption!
Thus, the issue of food loss can be attributed not only to consumer behavior, but also to inappropriate infrastructure and storage facility, poor engineering and agriculture practices.
For instance, huge pre- and post-harvest losses occur as result of the use of traditional harvesting methods. Delayed harvesting also contributes to a huge amount of grain losses, during the reaping, transporting and handling of the harvested crops. The percentage of loss can be between 20% and 60%. Lack of technology in harvesting and processing level is another major issue- causing higher production loss in the developing nations like Bangladesh, where investment for that technology is not easy.
The FAO’s global initiative on food losses and waste reduction suggested strengthening the supply chain through the direct support of farmers and investments in infrastructure, transportation and post-harvest techniques. They also suggested an expansion of the food and packaging industry to help to reduce the amount of food loss and waste.
Yet, unfortunately, scientists predict that approximately one billion people around the world are ‘going hungry’ and further two billion people will be affected due to inadequate food supply by 2050 as a result of worsening climate, food loss along the supply chain and poor food production.
Despite various initiatives with slow but steady growth, we do not know for sure as to what the future holds. We all have a responsibility to our community, yet it is our actions that are shaping up the future ever so meekly. This is what we have to fight against.

Our Team

Our Mission

A journey of a thousand miles always begins with one small step. Intrigued by vast amounts of food wastage across nations due to sheer lack of proper storage ...Read More

Our Background

Challenge Accepted is a team of young, talented and creative entrepreneurs motivated by the desire to eradicate burning social issues- one challenge at a time. And our recent-most ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.