Winning Team

Leaf No Waste: Extending the shelf-life and reducing waste of salad leaves

TU Dublin



Seed Phase Teams


Reducing premature spoilage of fruit and vegetables in global supply chains

Challenge Premature spoilage due to supply chain inefficiencies is a major cause of commercial food waste and accounts for between 20% and 50% of all fruit and vegetables being lost/wasted. Addressing supply chain inefficiencies is key to addressing food loss/waste and will require a revolutionary transformation of the current commercial supply management systems.

Solution Working with stakeholders to enhance global supply chain efficiency by developing a disruptive cyber-physical platform that combines optical sensing and artificial intelligence (deep learning) technologies to accurately predict food spoilage and remaining shelf-life. 

UN SDG Alignment GOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production   

Team Ultan McCarthy (WIT), Anastasia Ktenioudaki (UCD), Jean-Pierre Emond (The Illuminate Group LLC) 


Addressing undernutrition and promoting healthy aging through optimisation of diet

Challenge For older people, buying quantities of fresh food can lead to food waste which discourages them achieving nutritional and health goals. Furthermore, undernutrition (the insufficient intake of energy and nutrients to meet an individual's needs to maintain good health) in older people is a serious condition that contributes to poor quality of life, frailty and health loss. As the world’s population ages, undernutrition will become a significant global health issue if not addressed.  

Solution Develop a novel minimally processed food product that will combine key ingredients of the Mediterranean Diet that sustain gut microbes that promote health. This product will support optimised nutritional intake and overcome a number of current challenges in addressing undernutrition in the elderly.  

UN SDG Alignment GOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being; GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Team Paul O'Toole (UCC), Elke Arendt (UCC), Suzanne Timmons (HSE) 


Valorising food WAste into VAlue added commodities

Challenge Food waste valorisation is an important goal of sustainable development. In Ireland, 4.2 million tonnes of food-waste is generated annually with the food-processing  sector  accounting  for  19%  of this total producing 36,900  tonnes  of  fruit  and  758,650 tonnes of vegetable waste each year. This food waste represents a valuable untapped source of commercially important compounds (e.g., fatty acids) that can be used for a range of applications.

Solution Develop a disruptive anaerobic digestion technology that will transform organic  food waste, destined  for  landfill, into nutrient-rich foods, ingredients, clean energy and balanced fertiliser thus providing a unique zero-waste circular bioeconomy solution. 

UN SDG Alignment GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Team Sushanta Kumar Saha (LIT), Ajay Menon (UCD), Adam Lord (Food Surplus Management Ltd)


Concept Phase Teams

Addressing waste in the fishing industry – alternative uses of fish blood

Challenge In 2021, in excess of 3.5 million tonnes of fish blood will be produced by the global fisheries and aquaculture industry. While fish blood is rich in valuable macromolecules and nutrients there is currently no scalable way of extracting these constituents which leads to significant waste and resource consumption.

Solution Create a scalable solution to extract valuable macromolecules from fish blood to create biopolymer composites to replace plastic.

UN SDG Alignment GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Team Graham O'Neill (TU Dublin), Paula Bourke (UCD), Nadine Bonner (Irish Fish Canners)