Have you ever reached into your refrigerator to grab a box of strawberries and opened it to find a blackened pile of fruit. Spoiled food is a terribly disappointing thing that happens more often than you think. In fact, it’s a worldwide problem that wastes an estimated 50-percent of the worlds food supply. While refrigeration, canning, and vacuum sealing can all help you keep food fresh, this simple sheet of paper can extend the life of your groceries up to four times longer. Called FreshPaper it’s an amazing idea from the mind of its creator, Kavita Shukla, that’s already changing the way the world keeps food fresh—and now it has won a prestigious INDEX Award in the Home Category!

FreshPaper, Fenugreen, INDEX Award 2013, refrigeration, mold, bacteria, sustainable food, degradative enzymes, Spices, India, biodegradable, organic, recycled,

The FreshPaper is essentially a paper slip infused with a blend of organic spices— including fenugreek, which inspired Shukla’s company name, Fenugreen—that releases degradative enzymes to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth. While appearing similar to a regular paper towel simple paper tower that can be slipped underneath any food you might have lying around in your refrigerator, a fruit bowl, or inside your pantry; this sheet can help keep your food fresh for up to three weeks.

Shukla originally came across the idea on a visit to her grandmother in India after drinking accidentally drinking some dirty tap water. Shukla’s grandmother gave a mix of spices that would stop her from getting sick. Years later and after much research that started off as a middle school science project, Shukla discovered the new application for her grandmother’s generations-old home remedy to keep food fresh.

Today, Shukla runs her own company, Fenugreen, selling these food preserving wonder sheets in the US through local natural food markets and national supermarkets like WholeFoods. It’s certainly an innovative, sustainable idea that’s caught on in the US and now it has won enough praise from the INDEX Award jury members to pin FreshPaper with an award in the Home Category and a $133,320 cash prize.

“FreshPaper is simple, low-tech and hyper affordable, with the potential to scale into new markets,” Jury Chairman Mikal Hallstrup said about Fenugreen’s FreshPaper in a release. “[FreshPaper] has immense potential to improve the lives of those living in less developed areas as well, where access to refrigerators are limited.

Hallstrup added ”Not only that, but the design is an iconic example of the challenge of food; it’s not about producing more but rather about preventing spoilage.”

+ FreshPaper

+ INDEX: Awards 2013

Images © INDEX: Awards 2013