Farmers end up throwing away about 10% of their apple yield. These are mostly apples that have fallen to the ground and no longer look pretty enough to end up in grocery stores. Other apples are thrown out because they're too small, too big or have sun spots.
According to the U.N., an estimated 1.3 billion tons of produce is thrown in the trash each year, resulting in a loss of about $1 trillion.
But food scientist Ofir Benjamin from Tel-Hai College in northern Israel wanted to give those "bad apples" a second life. Along with his colleague, Professor Raffi Stern from the Migal Research Institute, they brought apples to a laboratory and ground them up into a fine powder. Afterwards, they analysed the nutritional value: the vitamin C, the dietary fiber, the antioxidant activity and so forth. And to their surprise thy discovered that the powder had the same nutritional value as regular apples.
Not only were they able to save tons of apples from the trash bin, but they ended up discovering something else: The powder they invented could be kept for a long time without spoiling. "If you vacuum-seal it, it can last for more than a year," Benjamin told From The Grapevine.
It could be used for long trips –perhaps space travel- or in your pantry for the next time you want to bake apple cake and don't have any apples in the house. But the scientists see an even bigger potential for their new product. "We're going to attempt to bring it into the food industry," Benjamin explained. They've been in touch with a couple of major food manufacturers in Israel to help introduce the powder as an alternative ingredient for apple-flavored products that you'd find in the grocery story, like cereal. They've already received calls from food companies in Russia, Poland and Japan that are interested in the powder.