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Anina uses the new recycled product in the “food in a bag” concept


23 September 2022 — Food technology startup Anina Culinary Art is launching a new way to fight food waste and provide consumers with nutrient-dense meals. The company uses “ugly” vegetables and turns them into ready meals, tapping into the growing trend of salvaging otherwise throwaway ingredients and turning them into NPD.

Anina makes ‘food in a bag’ called ‘Anina’s Beans’, which are convenience foods made from rejected vegetables from mainstream shops, because they ‘don’t look perfect’.

“Anina is making a real impact on the food industry by reducing food waste and turning it into innovative, plant-based products,” said Anat Nathan, ANINA’s founder and CEO.

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Anina’s shells are made from a patented technology with a food-grade lamination process that forms an outer shell container to create a layer of dried fruit or vegetables. Inside the shell is a range of ingredients depending on the recipe.

Anina buys discarded food and turns it into ready meals. “ANINA responds to the growing demand to make the most of unwanted vegetables and transform them into something artistic that pleases the eye and palette,” adds Nathan.

Each container contains two cups of vegetables, which is 40% of an adult’s daily nutritional needs. Meals are cooked in minutes and provide convenient eating.

The company offers three types of dishes: pasta primavera, Mediterranean bowl and Vietnamese bowl. Anina claims that the product “provides a plant-based diet that is high in protein, high in fiber and free of dyes and preservatives.”

The trend of combating food waste
According to the company, half of the produce in the U.S. is thrown away because it’s not “picture perfect” for sale, resulting in 60 million metric tons of fruit and vegetables being thrown away each year.

Often, food loss means less income for farmers and higher prices for consumers. However, Anina is on the path to reusing unsightly products and reducing food waste.

“We buy the remaining products directly from the farmers. It gives them an income for vegetables that they would normally have to throw away,” says Nathan.

This trend of companies taking food that would otherwise become waste and repurposing it is expected to grow. Innova Market Insights named ‘Upcycling Redefined’ as one of the top ten trends for 2022.

According to a survey by Innova Market Insights, half of money-losing consumers have minimized their food waste – 50% mostly bad money and 53% slightly bad. These figures compare to 47% who reduced food waste with unchanged finances and 37% who improved their finances in the past 12 months.

A previous breakthrough in reducing food waste came from scientists in Singapore, who developed a method of growing food products based on fungi that grow on nutrient-rich food waste.

Anina’s strategy for reusing discarded products is on the way to expanding into countries with high levels of food waste. “After successfully launching the product in Israel and receiving positive feedback from US millennials, we are ready to bring our products to the US,” concludes Nathan.

Edited by Sabine Waldeck

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