ChowBerries are fruit, vegetable and cassava root finger food forms surrounded by a grape-like skin comprised of a bilayer formed by alginate and chitosan polysaccharides. The skin of the food bites provides an effective barrier to water and oxygen transport, permitting high moisture content, which facilitates rapid dissolution in the mouth and distribution of active material. Of relatively low water content, the skin further permits the incorporation and stabilization of key enhancers of iron absorption such as vitamin C, which can lose stability in high water-content foods via oxidation. The skin also permits the stabilization of pre- and probiotics that can help counter gastrointestinal side effects of unabsorbed iron. ChowBerries may also incorporate unique Basic Methacrylate Copolymer (BMC) stabilized iron that has been demonstrated to preserve iron stability on the shelf and in high-stress conditions prior to eating as in boiling. BMC can also reduce unwanted sensory changes that occur during fortified food storage (the presence of fortified iron in certain foods can cause rancidity and subsequent off flavors), food preparation and cooking.
2019 – 2020 – Cambridge Crops (MIT)/Chowberry/Incredible Food (Harvard)
The Chowberries formed charitable partnership with Incredible Foods, a Boston-based startup food technology company to incorporate its ground breaking edible packaging food technology into the Chowberries nutrition bites.
Consequently, the Chowberries will incorporate two revolutionary technologies borne at Harvard University (Incredible Foods) and MIT (Cambridge Crops) both charitably donated to the Chowberries project to create a versatile new food form that can thrive in the current food system without plastic packaging. Based on a food form ubiquitous in nature, the Chowberries wraps almost any food and drink in two natural layers, a first layer that is like the endoderm of a coconut, and the second that is like the coconut endocarp. Chowberries can be produced at mass scale at affordable costs, are delicious, and as a generalized food vector validated with consumers in over 4 years of consumer trial.
Describing the Chowberries – How it Works (Harvard)
The Chowberries project will be overseen in the first years by the World Frontiers Forum (a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit based in Massachusetts) working alongside our Nigerian-based office. Final product development and distribution in Africa will be actualized and led by Chowberry Foundation with the charitable support of our technology partners Incredible Foods, a for-profit Massachusetts-based food startup founded by WFF co-founder David Edwards (Harvard), and the MIT laboratory of Robert Langer (also co-founder of the WFF),
Potential distribution partners include Sierra Leone and Nigerian School Systems. The ChowBerries Program will be accompanied by an aggressive nutrition and hygiene learning program to complement the benefits of ChowBerries (for IDA) with the benefits of better hygiene and nutrition, significant contributors to anemia rates in underdeveloped countries.
With success, Chowberry will transfer the core technologies to large scale production sites in Sierra Leone (in association with Sierra Leone schools and the Sierra Leone Government) and Nigeria (in association with ChowBerry, the Nigerian food company and charity), and to establish local farming cooperatives in both countries with sophisticated data analysis and community engagement.
With its first large-scale facility, the company aims to produce daily micronutrient-rich snacks for 1 million school children by 2024.