Rotterdam Fruitleather


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- story by MaterialDistrict

Every Tuesday and Saturday Rotterdam enjoys its market. This is the biggest outdoor market in the Netherlands and it also happens to generate the largest amount of fruit and vegetables waste as each day with around 3,500 kilos of rejected fruit and vegetables. Rejected produce includes, for example, an imperfect mango or some squashed nectarines. To dispose of the trash, it costs the stand owner 12 eurocents/kilo. Therefore, some market vendors are tempted to illegally dump their waste in order to cut costs. Out of this problem, the idea for this new kind of material was born.

For a number of months, a multi-disciplinary collective of designers from the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam collected on a weekly basis the “waste” from the market and developed a particular process for the creation of their brand new material: Original Rotterdam Fruitleather.

For inspiration, the team looked at the different techniques chefs use to create wonderful flavour experiences with fruits and vegetables. One of those techniques is to mash, cook and then dry fruits to make them into a candy like piece of fruit called fruitleather. By producing this on large scale with the unsellable fruits from the market, a new kind of material is created. This material can be used in many different ways, creating many different products. The designers have created so far a handbag made completely out of the fruitleather material for example. The bag shows the quality and possibilities that fruitleather has to offer as a material.

This group of designers wants to create awareness for the problem that is food waste and show that there is an solution. Their goal is to work together with companies and organizations to improve the quality and technical properties of this material and create a wide range of products.

As of 10 November 2017, new photos have been added from the improved material.

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