WayCool Foods has signed a 3-year MoU with IIT Hyderabad (IIT-H) to manufacture antimicrobial food packaging material by making use of biopolymers. This agreement was done between Karthik Jayaraman, CEO, and Sumohana Channappayya, Dean (Research and Development), IIT-H in Hyderabad.

The goal is to create economically viable and biodegradable packaging that will preserve the freshness of fruits and vegetables for longer time period, thus alleviating the food wastage throughout the supply chain by up to 20%. This packing material will improve the shelf life of mainstream fruits and vegetables like capsicum, guava, Indian gooseberry, and okra as well as exotic items like broccoli and strawberry. The company will invest about Rs. 2 million over a period of 3 years of this collaboration.

On the event of the MoU signing, Vignesh Kumar Manogaran, EVP, WayCool Foods stated- “Since its establishment, WayCool Foods has been energetically working towards lowering down wastage of food on various fronts. The partnership with IIT Hyderabad to co-develop a sustainable alternate packaging solution further adjuncts our in-house research and development and Innovation endeavours. This association will assist us to work closely with the diligent minds of India’s top-tier institutions and to reinforce the industry-academia bond.”

The company supplies its wide array of fresh produce and staples to brands like Shuddha, Dhaanyaa, KitchenJi, L’exotique, Madhuram, and Freshey’s, to nearly 20,000 retail outlets, as well as to institutional clients. The creative packaging, when developed, is planned to be sharply distinct from customary packaging and will aid consumers to enjoy fresh produce for long.

In the initiative towards creating a social influence, the company has a farmer engagement programme named Outgrow that engages with farmers via the entire cultivation cycle, from planning to inputs to harvesting. In the procedure, the company assists to considerably multiply farmer profitability, lower risk, and promises 270 days of consistent earnings to farmers by adopting various surfacing technologies to measure soil health, verify quality of inputs, capture agricultural practices, and estimate output quality.

During the signing of MoU, Dr Mudrika Khandelwal, The Cellulose Group (Head), IIT Hyderabad declared- “Biopolymer is an eco-friendly food packaging material. We are pleased to join forces with WayCool Foods to craete this quirky solution to ameliorate product shelf-life whilst also cutting down the overall carbon footprint associate with food packaging. It is crucial to come up with approaches to develop uncompromised innovations that accomplish our sustainability goals while offering customer-focused solutions.”

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