It has works with The Harvest House growers cooperative, which packages tomatoes in 250g and 750g solid board bowls with tomato plant fibres to HelloFresh, the international online ordering service for fresh meal ingredients and Duijvestijn Tomaten.
Fruit Logistica, Berlin
Saskia Cooman, business developer, Solidus Solutions, said the company has more to demonstrate about the developments in enriching solid board with tomato plant fibres at Fruit Logistica, in Berlin, Germany (February 3-5).
The firm employs nearly 1,000 people in four board and four packaging plants in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK with sales offices in France and Norway.
“Our products are supplied to a wide range of businesses, including the food industry and the industrial sector and we have been collaborating for the past few years with a consortium of partners in the Westland region, called Bio Base Westland,” said Cooman.
The way the packaging is made, is once a year, a residual flow of 85 million kg of tomato plants is released and composted by The Harvest House growers cooperative. Instead of composting, it turns the plants into raw material, which in combination with old paper fibres, can be processed into solid board.
The process involves several steps as tomato plants are at the growers after harvest and shredded into 1-2cms and transported to a waste convertor company before being wrapped in plastic blankets to prevent them from composting.
Cooman said the challenge was removing the water from the plants and optimizing the process.
She said it was currently using plants from The Netherlands and the amount of fibre is only enough to meet annual production at one of its carton production plants.
Solidus Solutions is considering looking at other plants such as cucumber and aubergine as the plants are alike but it needs more research as the growing process is different.