Are you tired of sending your food waste to landfill and polluting our environment? A Los Angeles based biotechnology company called Mi Terro has developed an innovative solution to rescue excess milk and re-engineer it into eco-friendly products.
Through Mi Terro’s patent-pending new technology, it has developed an innovative solution to rescue excess milk and re-engineer it into fiber. This can then be used to make eco-friendly products for society and offer a sustainable and environment-friendly substitute to plastic.
The ambition of Mi Terro is to replace petroleum-based material by creating a dynamic new circular economy powered by the waste of agriculture. In this cycle, the fiber is first rescued from bad food and then can later return after use due to its biodegradable nature.
The journey of Mi Terro is a personal one. The founder and CEO, Robert Luo, first thought of the idea when he visited his uncle’s dairy farm in China in 2018. The problem he discovered was the amount of food waste in agriculture. For his uncle, it was buckets and buckets of spoiled milk on the farm and an inefficient production process. As he further investigated, he quickly realized it’s a global problem which the world doesn’t talk about enough despite the cost and damage to our planet. In fact, 40% of the world’s food produced goes to waste every year. Amongst all the food waste, it is reported that 128 million tons of milk is dumped globally.
After returning to the US, he contacted his childhood friend and now co-founder Daniel Zhuang who had a material science and chemistry background. They began to further research the issue and see how technology could offer the waste a new life. In only three months, Robert and Daniel invented a the “Pro-Act” (Protein Activation) process to extract the casein protein from milk and spin it into fiber. This was the foundation for the company’s debut product, the Mi Terro milk shirt, a garment made entirely from dairy waste.
Whilst it starts with milk, in the future the technology can be applied to all protein-based waste. The process requires 60% less water than organic cotton and it is entirely non-toxic with no chemicals used during production.
Mi Terro has already partnered with some of the world’s largest organizations to use the fiber and license the technology and it continues to welcome companies to join its movement – end food waste to protect the planet.
Currently, the majority of innovation in food- and ag-tech is based on genetic engineering, plant engineering, mechanical engineering, AI, and computer science. There’s still a lot of room to innovate using nanomaterials and biomaterials. Mi Terro is turning food waste into apparel, packaging, fruit coating, and other applications that can prevent more food from going to waste. They are taking a world problem and making it into a world solution.