Heinz & Ford Partners In A Research To Manufacture Cars Using Tomato Fibres
In what would have appeared as an unlikely union, H.J. Heinz Company and Ford Motor Company have partnered in a joint research which could lead to manufacturing cars using tomato fibres. In case you didn’t get that right, Heinz & Ford wants your automobile to be made out of vegetable fibres.
The research the two companies are working on is on investigating how dried tomato skin can be used in the manufacture of Ford vehicle’s wiring brackets, storage bin users use to keep their coins and other small objects.
Ellen Lee, Ford’s Plastic Research Technical specialist, “We are exploring whether this food processing byproduct makes sense for an automotive application. Our goal is to develop a strong, lightweight material that meets our vehicle requirements, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact.”
However, this is not the first time that Ford is involved in such a revolutionary and eco-friendly research. About two years back, Ford was working in partnership with Coca-Cola, Heinz, Procter & Gamble and Nike Inc. to develop a 100% plant-based plastic. They intended to replace the current plastic-made packaging materials with a packaging material made out of biodegradable fabric.
Heinz researchers have been looking for innovative ways to recycle and reuse the peels, seeds and stems from the over two million tons of tomato they use annually. Heinz, a manufacturer of Heinz Ketchup, one of the leading ketchup brands in the world has now joined forces with Ford to continue the research they have been working on for a while.
Vidhu Nagpal, Associate Director, Packaging R&D for Heinz said, “We are delighted that the technology has been validated… Although we are in the very early stages of research, and many questions remain, we are excited about the possibilities this could produce for both Heinz and Ford, and the advancement of sustainable 100% plant-based plastics.”
Ford on its part is committed to reducing, reusing and recycling as part of its global sustainability strategy to mitigate its environmental footprint at the same time fast tracking the development of fuel-efficient vehicles. Over the last few years, Ford has been intensively recycling non-metal and bio-based materials. Last year, Ford introduced cellulose fibre-reinforce console components and rice hull-filled electrical cowl brackets, under its bio-based portfolio Ford has eight materials in the production line. The company may also use coconut-based composite materials, soy foam seat cushion and head restraints and recycled cotton material for its carpeting.