Globally, over 800 million people struggle with frequent hunger, even as about one-third of all the food produced in the world is wasted, much of it due to spoilage. Wasted food accounts for about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions and causes economic losses of over $930 billion each year.
With that in mind, scientists in DuPont’s Nutrition and Biosciences (N&B) business have been working on new techniques to increase the shelf life of food staples like bread and cheese. Recent successes include our POWERFresh® anti-staling enzymes and DIMODAN® HP 75 SG emulsifiers, which extend the shelf life of baked goods like breads and rolls while improving taste and texture. Another N&B breakthrough is HOLDBAC® Protective Cultures, which help keep white cheeses fresh up to three times longer, without compromising taste.
If applied on a global scale, HOLDBAC® cultures could reduce waste in this category by as much as 50–60%, saving about 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). That's the same as taking about 170,000 cars off the road for a year. Our scientists have also developed similar solutions for extending the shelf life of yogurt and other food products.
The 50 top leaders at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences have identified seven central goals and two focus areas within the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In autumn, the company will host a workshop presenting tools for others with the same ambitions.
Expectant mothers can wake up to a wellness report of their unborn child and be notified if fetal heartbeat and movement are within acceptable ranges with the new Owlet Band, winner of two CES awards in the categories of Wearable Technology and Tech to Change the World. Specialized sensors housed in a fabric band that sits around the mother's abdomen track fetal heart rate and kick count, sending real-time data to a smartphone.
The agreement, supported by an initial investment of more than one million euros mainly made by DuPont, exemplifies the concept of circular economy and will lead to significant reductions in energy, water and transport consumption for both companies.