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Researchers at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Sciences recently announced a new construction material made from food waste that can be more durable than concrete and still be edible.
The idea of recycling food waste is not new. According to the United Nations, every year 1.3 tonnes of food is wasted around the world as a result of wasted food due to substandard, spoiled food, inefficient processing chains or human waste .
There are now many companies starting to focus on recycling food waste to make pig feed, fertilizer or convert biological waste into fuel or plastic.
But the idea of the team from Tokyo is indeed very unique. Not only do they turn fruits, vegetables and other leftovers into friendly items, but they also keep them in a more durable and even edible form.
After collecting food waste, the scientists mixed it with seaweed. They will then process food waste using the heat-pressing technique commonly used to press wood pulp into building materials. They are then vacuum dried and ground into a powder. Add water and some spices to mix with this powder, then press the mixture in the mold at high temperature. In the end, we will get a new building material that has better bendability than concrete but is still edible and retains its inherent taste.
The new materials were not only edible, the researchers said, but they were also resistant to rotting, fungi and insects during a four-month trial period.
According to Kota Machida, a member of the research team revealed that the material created from all foods, except pumpkin, passed the durability test. The material created from cabbage leaves is stronger than concrete. 3 times, can be mixed with weaker materials made from pumpkins to increase strength.
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