A lot of fruit is thrown away or left unharvested every year in the fruit region. 70% of these surpluses are currently processed into juices, syrups, etc. This means that a large amount of fruit is lost. In addition, a lot of local fruit is kept in refrigerators for a long time, only to be sold in the winter.
With the Fruitkruid project, vzw Rups wants to work towards a more optimal processing and consumption of these fruit surpluses, and at the same time offer a sustainable alternative for refrigeration. Specifically, we researched how surplus fruit could be dried and processed into a tasty fruit powder: 'Fruitkruid' by means of an optimal drying process. By doing so, we aim for a long shelf life, maximum retention of vitamins and lower energy consumption. In this way, drying fruit can offer an alternative to refrigeration.
Fruitkruid is also an innovative concept that offers possibilities to flavour dishes and add an extra dimension to (Belgian) cuisine. For instance, apple herb can give meat sauces a natural fruity touch, or pear herb creates a surprising flavour in tea or patisserie. And how often is only the peel of lemons used in a cake? Lemon fruit herb can be an alternative for that natural lemon taste, without wasting it.
Our belief in this kind of circular process endures. Thanks to the positive feedback from various corners, we also believe in the potential of Fruitkruid as a product. Unfortunately, scale is the limiting factor for us: producing fruit weed on a commercially interesting scale is not feasible for our organisation. Therefore, we have decided to end the project here.