Mexico City – Mexican scientist Dimas Jimenez is promoting the use of dehydrated foods like those eaten by astronauts as a way to deal with food shortages caused by global warming.
"It is expected that food shortages will start to occur by 2025, making it hard to get access to them," Jimenez told Efe.
Opening "processing plants for the natural foods of the future" should be a priority in dealing with this situation, Jimenez said.
The scientist, who studied biochemical engineering at the National Polytechnical Institute, owns a small company that processes nearly two tons a month of what he calls the "food of the future," a powder made from oats, avocados, mangos and prickly pear.
The powder, which is mixed with water and has a high nutritional content, also helps children and adults lose weight, Jimenez said.
"Pretty much all of us are going to have to eat dehydrated powders or tablets" in the future because climate change will lead to a rise in prices of "between 180 percent and 300 percent due to effects on supply and demand," the scientist said, adding that the quality of food would also drop.
"Access to fresh produce" will be reduced in the future, Jimenez said.
The scientist, who holds eight patents and has five more pending for the production of avocado powder and the processing of various types of fruits, has been promoting his products in Mexico and other countries.
Grupo Peñoles, the world's largest producer of refined silver and metallic bismuth, has placed a large order for Jimenez's product, which will be provided for miners to eat inside underground shelters in case of an emergency.
Miners will find the powdered food, oxygen and water in underground shelters in three months, when reprovisioning is completed.
Consumption of 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of the powder provides a person with a serving of 58 percent carbohydrates, 20 percent protein, 20 percent monounsaturated vegetable oil (Omega 3 and 5) and 2 percent bulk fiber, with a total of 270 kilocalories, Jimenez said.
"It's important to provide natural products with a high protein value, without preservatives, that can last for up to three to five years in storage," the scientist said.
The powdered food also benefits people who want to lose weight gradually, naturally and safely, helping children and adults who are overweight, Jimenez said.
"All you need to prepare it are 200 milliliters (seven ounces) of water and some good shaking. It's recommended that you ingest a packet 10 or 15 minutes before the main meal so it can expand in the stomach and give the sensation of being full," the scientist said.
"Oats help prevent the absorption of fats, helping to gradually reduce the size of the stomach," Jimenez said.
The powder, which is guaranteed, can be distributed to schools and hospitals across Mexico to help deal with the problem of obesity, the scientist said.
Mexico ranks second in the world in terms of percentage of the adult population that is overweight and obese, trailing only the United States, and it ranks first in weight problems among children, with the trend moving higher.
Jimenez exports a number of other products to Europe and the United States, such as dehydrated guacamole, mango tablets used by NASA astronauts in space and low-calorie chocolates to help people deal with hunger pangs.
These products can be stored anywhere and have a shelf life of three years, making them ideal for people living in areas prone to natural disasters or desert regions since, "in addition to withstanding high temperatures, they are hermetically sealed," Jimenez said.