Ford and Heinz to use tomatoes in cars, Dallas, Fort Worth, TX – Five Star Ford of Plano
The Ford Motor Company and the H.J. Heinz Company announced this week that they are working together to create sustainable materials for use in vehicles. The two iconic companies are working on ways to reuse tomato fiber to develop bio-plastic for use in automobiles.
Researchers at both companies are currently studying if dried tomato skins can be used to create wiring brackets and storage bins for use in Ford vehicles. The goal is to develop a material that is both strong and lightweight and can handle the daily abuse of being in a car.
The hope is to make the manufacturing of cars and ketchup produce less of an environmental impact. Ford has been collaborating with other companies such as Coca-Cola and Nike to develop a 100 percent plant-based plastic for a variety of applications. Petroleum-based materials that have been in use for years will hopefully be on the way out soon.
Heinz researchers have been searching for innovative ways to reuse byproducts of tomatoes from the production of their bestselling product – ketchup. The company uses more than two million tons of tomatoes every year, so finding ways to repurpose peels, seeds and stems would have a significant positive environmental impact.
The research for use of tomato products is a continuation of the work Ford has already done in using bio-based material in their vehicles. Ford is currently using cellulose fiber-reinforced console components, rice-hull-filled electrical cowl brackets and soy foam seat cushions. New Ford vehicles may soon be going red to go green.
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