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Noah Kaufman
June 22, 2017

Responsible people compost their organic waste peels; irresponsible people just throw them away. One thing nobody does with them is bake—at least, not yet. In Mexico, a new startup has a plan to change that. Eat Limmo takes discarded peels and seeds from Mexican fruit that would otherwise just be waste and transforms them into a binding ingredient called limmo that can go into cakes, tortillas or hopefully processed foods like Twinkies. Bakers can substitute it for eggs and other fatty ingredients to cut down on cholesterol and calories, and, according to Eat Limmo founder Enrique Gonzalez, preserve flavor.  

This idea, along with a processing method developed by his partner, Flavio Siller, won Gonzalez a entrepreneurial grant in 2013, which the two have now spun into a successful company. According to Gonzalez, Mexican companies throw away 40 million tons of peels and seeds a year; once Eat Limmo is done transforming them, that’s enough to feed millions more people in a healthier way. He also says that limmo can replace 40 percent of the eggs and oil in something like cake. Not only does that cut some unwanted fat and calories, but because the ingredient is made from fiber-rich fruit peels, it provides extra dietary fiber.

Gonzalez has already begun working with bakeries, hotels and restaurants in Mexico to incorporate limmo, but he hopes he can infiltrate the much less-healthy world of processed food. Mexico is vying for the title of world’s most obese country, and much of the problem stems from the prevalence of crummy, processed food. As Gonzalez told Fast Company, “If you go to a little town here in Mexico, maybe there’s no running water or electricity, but you can find Twinkies.” While he doesn’t think he can get rid of those Twinkies, he hopes he can make them a little better for the people eating them.

Eat Limmo just recently opened its first production facility in Monterrey, Mexico, but they are already raising funds for a second, larger factory and expand out of Mexico from there. Who knows, maybe there is hope for Ho Hos after all.

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