A multi-disciplinary collective of designers from the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam are looking for innovative solutions to one of Rotterdam’s biggest social issues – food waste. Fruitleather, a design material made from waste generated by Rotterdam’s markets, is one of their responses.
Each day, at outdoor markets in and around Rotterdam, vendors throw away approximately 3500 kilos of rotten or otherwise unsellable fruits and vegetables. These seemingly unwanted products are viewed as trash. But food is not trash, and this design team argues that a different use for these food materials must be found. Turning to the principles of gastronomy, they have found a solution they call ‘fruitleather.’
Chefs use a variety of techniques to create wonderful flavour experiences with fruits and vegetables. One of those techniques is to mash, cook and then dry fruits to turn them into candy-like fruit leather. By replicating this technique on a larger scale, the team has developed a new kind of leather material. This material can be used in many different ways, creating many different types of products.
With their innovation, the collective hope to create awareness about the problem of food waste and show that there is a better solution than the landfill. Their aim is to work together with companies and organizations to make their fruit leather better and better and create a wide variety of products.