News and updates from the continent

‘We won’t run out of food’: Woolworths’ Justin Smith

‘We won’t run out of food’: Woolworths’ Justin Smith

May 28, 2014

Food security is only a problem if we don’t manage the food resource properly, says Woolworths’ Justin Smith, speaking at the Food Hospitality World conference on 27 May 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.  He says that we don’t need to grow more food, we just need to better understand and improve the food production industry. 

For example, we need to understand how land is bought in Africa for food production and whether it is being used to create more problems rather than solutions for the people who live there; alien vegetation uses 10% of Africa’s water; agriculture uses 70% of South Africa’s water resource and yet it contributes less than 4% to this country’s GDP; agricultural policy can have massive knock-on impacts – in the EU, this is effective but in Africa our agricultural policies can actually create more inequality.

These are just a few challenges.  There are more.  Woolworths is working with industry, farmers and environmental partners in order to help and improve the situation with good results.

Power to … an apple a day
An apple could do a whole lot more than keep the doctor away because, through new technology, its nutritious value can be expanded to actually provide more food.  Roy Henderson and Jan Vlok of Green Cell Technologies told people at the Food Hospitality World conference about how they have invented and patented Dynamic Cell Disruption (DCD).

This process literally opens 99.9% of the plant cell, releases the goodness and multiplies the nutritious value of the food from as much as little as five to 14 and more times the yield.  As we know, apples go brown when they start oxidising within a few minutes of being cut – this means the goodness and nutritional value of the fruit is starting to diminish.  With DCD, the whole apple is used to produce an emulsion, which when added to five times its volume of water, is an additive- and preservative-free fruit juice with 590% higher polyphenols and a stable shelf life.

The whole process takes seconds.  Given that the DCD process can be integrated into any existing food processing plants, this technology represents a quantum leap in food production and could, indeed, be a solution to future food security.

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