EIT FOOD Entrepreneurial Summer School on Food Systems

September 2019

Two FIPDes students, Mara Lauriola (Italy) and Maud De Hemptinne (Belgium), attended the EIT FOOD Entrepreneurial Summer School on Food Systems in the first two weeks of September. They were in the winning group of the final pitch with the idea of "Banana Unit".

The summer school consisted in two weeks, one in Haifa (Israel) and one in Munich (Germany), in collaboration with the Israel Institute of Technology and Technical University of Munich.

During the summer school we had the possibility to choose and work on one big food waste problem related to one of the most consumed fruits in the world, bananas. After some research, we came to know that for each ton of banana harvested, four tons of waste are generated. This waste includes bananas that are not meeting the market criteria, stems and leaves. We wondered “How might we reuse this huge biomass?” and after brainstorming and working hard for all week we came up with a solution able to exploits in order to produce something profitable for the farmers. “Banana unit” was born form the observation that stems of bananas can be used to produce fiber usable to produce clothes and fabrics, banana pulp dehydrated to produce flour and bananas’ peel transformed in biochar, a useful fertilizer for the ground capable of reducing the greenhouses emissions among the other things.

“Banana unit” turned out to be the winning idea of the summer school. It was such a great experience! We applied our knowledge and gathered it with that of the other components of the group in order to make one of the biggest fruit industries as circular as possible at a farm level.
Thanks to EIT FOOD for this opportunity!

Mara Lauriola, Italy, Cohort 8

- Updated November 2019 -