You say "tomato" I say "environmentally friendly car components"
The humble tomato is a wonderful foodstuff. Hot in sauces, cold in sandwiches, it provides sweetness, colour and vitamins. In its ketchup form, Heinz sells 630 million bottles every year across the globe. And now, this wonder of nature is set to embark on the next stage in its career by taking to the roads. Not content with dominating in the supermarkets, tomatoes are hoping to get a slice of the car industry action too.
Ford and Heinz are teaming up to explore the potential use of tomato fibre in car parts. They want to develop a bio-plastic material which is sustainable and viable for car parts from the tomatoes which are wasted during ketchup production.
As well as reducing metal production and increasing recycling, the parts themselves would become lighter if made by dried tomato skins, reducing the vehicle’s weight and therefore its emissions.
While it sounds like a novelty or strange experiment, it’s not the first time vehicle parts have been made from food. Volkswagen used pineapple to make a roof lining and parcel shelf for the Fox city car, but Ford and Heinz are hopeful that they can find a solution soon which will be used in many different vehicles.