NEW YORK (TIP): Indian American Kavita Shukla has won INDEX design award for her innovative design, FreshPaper, that helps keep food fresh for a longer period. The 500,000 Euro award, recognizing the best of innovations addressing problems facing the world, is given biennially in Copenhagen. Shukla is among the five winners in categories like Body, Home,Work, Play and Community. Her design won in the Home category and impressed the jury with its simplicity and cost-effectiveness. “FreshPaper is simple, low-tech and hyper affordable, with the potential to scale into new markets. The product has taken off in the United States, but it has immense potential to improve the lives of those living in less developed areas as well, where access to refrigerators is limited,” said INDEX jury chairman Mikal Hallstrup in a release. The low-cost design is compostable and infused only with organic spices. Shukla came across an old remedy after accidentally drinking dirty tap water while visiting her grandmother in India.
Her grandmother gave her a “spice tea” and when she did not get sick, her curiosity was sparked. Shukla kept experimenting with the spices and finally found a new application of the age old home remedy. Shukla, who was awarded the patent for FreshPaper at the age of 17, founded a social enterprise, Fenugreen, in 2010 to bring her product to those in need across the globe. It is already available in the US. The judges at INDEX believed that the design will have a huge impact in food preservation around the globe.