This solar-powered device keeps fruits and veggies fresh without a fridge
If you're in the produce business, getting your goods to the market while they're still fresh is imperative. In some countries where the climate is fairly warm, that can be a daunting, if not almost impossible task, but the Wakati might be an ideal solution. The device uses a 3W solar panel, a top-loading tent, and a ventilator to create produce-saving humidity – for most fruits and vegetables, keeping them wet is the essential key to their longevity.
Without refrigeration, many farmers lose some of their produce to spoilage within just a day or two of picking. If you have to walk your produce to the market, losing up to half of your goods in the process is a devastating loss. The Wakati can extends the life of produce significantly without the need for a refrigerator, so farmers can sell intact goods and consumers can reap the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
With this device, farmers can make their produce last up to 10 days, as opposed to two. According to founder Arne Pauwels said, the crops' cells are kept intact by the device, preventing acids and enzymes from destroying them once they dry out. Refrigeration does help produce last even longer, but in some places, full refrigeration units are just not an option. Extending the life of produce with the Wakati reduces waste and increases potential profits for farmers.
100 units have already been shipped to sites in Uganda, Haiti, and Afghanistan. Each unit costs about $100 but hopefully that cost will be reduced as production increases.
Photos by Wakati