FoodTech start-up Anina Culinary Art, Ltd. is reshaping the future of ready meals by merging art with technology through a culinary experience of meals from upcycled vegetables. Each whole “meal-in-a-pod” is all-natural, loaded with nutrients, and made from so-called “ugly” vegetables.
The Anina pod is a complete meal made from vegetables that have been rejected for sale due to a less-than-perfect appearance—a major source of fresh produce waste.
The new, convenient, ready to cook format is a single-size portion that allows for a quick and nutritious meal in just a few minutes.
Each disc-shaped container holds two full cups of vegetables—40% of an adult’s daily nutritional requirements—and is ideal for consumers seeking a fast nutritious & delicious meal solution at work or home.
Each Anina pod provides a plant-based meal replete with protein, high in fibre, and free from colourants or preservatives.
The technology is patented, from the food-grade lamination process to the pod structure. The unique technology forms flexible sheets from fresh vegetables.
“We produce these vegetable sheets with minimal processing, preserving the flavours, aromas, colours, and textures of the original vegetable,” said Mor Wilk, VP of R&D for Anina.
“The heart of our technology is the creation of vegetable sheets. The flexibility of these sheets enables us to form any 3D structure and create any recipe in a decorative pod, each set to its unique controlled cooking time.”
The container’s outer shell is made from a layer of dried vegetables or fruits, while the inner core contains a range of natural ingredients. The ingredients, of course, vary according to each recipe.
“Anina is making a real impact on the food industry by mitigating food waste and turning it into innovative, plant-based products with an exciting look and feel,” said Anat Natan, ANINA’s co-founder and CEO.
“The result is a balanced, delicious meal with all the nutrients you need. Anina is responding to a growing demand for making the most of unwanted veggies and turning them into something artistic that appeals to the eye and palette.
“Following the successful product launch in Israel and the positive feedback we received from American millennials, we are set to bring our products to the US.”
Large quantities of food are wasted because of an emphasis on appearance. In fact, half of all produce in the US is thrown away because it is less than “picture perfect” for selling. This equates to a staggering 60 million tons of completely fine fruits and vegetables discarded every year. Food losses mean lost income for farmers and higher prices for consumers.
Upcycling provides a highly sustainable solution to food waste while supporting a circular economy. The Anina team is on a continuous mission to find new ways to improve efficiency, prevent waste, and reunite consumers with nutritious food.
“We buy leftover produce directly from farmers,” explained Brantz. “This provides them income for vegetables they usually have to discard.”
“We’re changing the way we eat,” Natan concluded. “And we’re shaping the future for a meaningful culinary consumer experience. The Anina meal capsule also addresses today’s fast-paced lifestyle, which too often forces consumers to compromise on the quality of the food they eat.”