It is a project which avoids food or industrial waste and which preserves the environment at the same time.
Five final year students from the Purpan engineering school in Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), specializing in the food industry, imagined edible cutlery made with downgraded fruits and vegetables.
Called Croc Fork, their project won the regional competition for student entrepreneurs from the Toulouse Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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"The idea came after various observations: plastic pollution in the oceans, the vote of the Egalim law prohibiting the marketing of single-use plastic products and the desire to create something related to the circular economy," explains Léa Maravelle, one of the five students of the Croc Fork project.
There are wooden cutlery but they are not very pleasant to use or others made from flour which remain fragile.
As part of our studies, we knew that damaged fruits and vegetables are thrown away so we decided to dig this track to make our cutlery compostable ”.
Cutlery can be eaten or deteriorated in a few days
The young women, all aged 22 to 23, spent several months testing different food products and recipes to find the ideal mixture, both solid in use and edible.
The Toulousaines are in the process of patenting their recipe, the visuals of which they are keeping secret for now, and hope to set up their business in the fall.
“We collect fruit and vegetables, which supermarkets do not sell because they are too small or damaged, from wholesalers,” explains Léa Maravelle.
Our cutlery can withstand heat, thanks to a layer of beeswax, and can therefore be eaten at the end of the meal.
And if the person hesitates to taste them and throws them on the ground, they degrade in a few days ”.
Three of the five students will continue to develop the project this summer, in particular the manufacturing process. To market their enticing cutlery, they are currently canvassing suppliers.