Making more from less through resource recovery. Upcycling tomato pomace to create dehydrated vegetable powder.
At Morning Star, responsible and sustainable practices are integral to our operations. From our specially designed lightweight tomato tub trailers to the use of gravity in our flume systems and recycled heat energy, we prioritize sustainability in every aspect of our processes, including the treatment of tomatoes themselves.
While the sustainability movement has been ongoing, one noteworthy approach gaining recognition is the upcycling of production line food co-products. Upcycling involves transforming the co-products of a food item into higher-value products, minimizing waste and contributing to a more circular economy.
In our tomato paste production, many of our products exclude tomato seeds and have only small amounts of peel. During the Finishing Process, where seeds and peel are separated from the tomato juice, a co-product called tomato pomace is generated. We collect this nutrient-dense mixture of peel and seeds, utilizing it in various ways, such as soil amendments, animal feed, and further processing to create a dehydrated vegetable powder ingredient. This ensures that 100% of the tomato serves a useful and environmentally friendly purpose.
Maintaining sustainability as a top priority, we have capitalized on the resources our factories offer. We expanded our processing line to include mechanical and solar drying, milling, and post-drying processing. Morning Star now produces its own dehydrated tomato powder, using recycled heat energy from the factory processing line to generate nearly 25% of the dryer’s heat. Additionally, about half of the dryer’s motor is powered by our steam turbines. This incorporation of the drying process into our production line has not only helped offset fuel expenses but also reduced our carbon footprint.
To fully maximize our dryer’s capabilities and upcycling practices, we have extended our drying operation to include vegetable and fruit co-products beyond tomatoes. These co-products, rich in nutritional value, serve as key ingredients not only in pet food but also find valuable applications in the cosmetic industry. As our production process advances, this nutrient-dense ingredient will expand to become a value-added commodity in the foods and supplements consumed by humans. Morning Star remains committed to innovation and sustainability, contributing to a healthier and more environmentally conscious future.
Click to learn more about our Dehydrated Fruit and Vegetable Powders