Veginbox

Brief

The brief foresaw a free topic although to be studied in materials and processes in order to find the more convenient combination in terms of cost and energy consumption. My personal aim was to tackle the food waste issue by reducing the speed of degradation during the storage. Vegetables and fruit are particularly affected by this problem due to wrong storage conditions thus I worked on a container designed to reduce the deterioration rate of these products in the refrigerator.
What

Product Design

When

2016

Context

Academic project

Team

Individual project

My role

Overall project

Context Research

It has been estimated that about a third of worldwide food production for consumption is lost or wasted along the food chain (FAO 2011). 22% (345 million tonnes) are wasted at the consumer level (domestic and catering). Among the causes, there is often a significant reduction in shelf life due to incorrect food storage in the fridge. In particular, vegetables’ storage.

Science of vegs’ storage

The underpinned principle was the need for vegetables to be surrounded by a high percentage of humidity but without the formation of moisture, which would cause mould and increase the degradation pace. For this purpose, different layers were created in order to hold water particles but allowing air filtration through a moderately filtering material, thus enhancing humidity but avoiding stagnation. Different vegetables need different percentage of humidity. I didn’t want to create a large number of unused container in consumers’ homes, thus I designed a modular system able to adapt to the different situation.
The 3D-shaped bottom reduces the contact of vegetables with the surface and allows air to pass, reducing further the risk of moisture condensation. The coloured pins make the assembling and disassembling the box easy in order to facilitate the cleaning operations.

Materials and manufacturing

The materials and processes were chosen in order to minimise the industrial manufacturing and reduce costs, thus making the product low-budget, simple to understand and suitable for a wide distribution.

Wrap-up

Although just one among the many course projects of my Bachelor, I consider VeginBox particularly important in my formation. It was the first product I handled completely, autonomously and all along the process from conception to engineering and prototyping. It also was the opportunity to focus on a thematic I care very much about, i.e. the food waste and its impact on environmental issues, and it led me to my Bachelor thesis, also about this topic.