In Sub-Saharan African countries like Kenya and Nigeria, people have to pay great attention to the way they store food. High temperatures often mean that vegetables, fruit and dairy goods spoil really quickly. To make matters more difficult, access to electricity is limited. As a result, food is often kept on open surfaces or in cool boxes. Unfortunately, these cool boxes can often only keep the groceries cool for a limited amount of time and require a great amount of effort and a lot of water. So people either have to purchase perishables several times a week, which is a lot of time grocery shopping or accept that a lot of their fresh produce will go bad, especially if they buy a lot at once.
The BSH UX-researchers at Bosch went to local food markets in Kenya and Nigeria and asked locals about their biggest problems when it comes to food storage. Less than two years later, they developed the FreshBox, a Low Cost Off Grid Chiller, which BSH is happy to introduce to markets in Nigeria and Kenya mainly under the Bosch brand.
How does FreshBox work?
FreshBox relies on a basic physical principle in order to reduce the internal temperature compared to the external temperature. It works because the reduction in temperature increases the humidity inside the box. This means that fruit and vegetables can be kept in high relative humidity and can be kept fresh longer. This is because the humidity prevents the evaporation of water within the food. The reduction in temperature occurs when the water evaporates from a textile layer that is placed in between the inner container and the outer surface of FreshBox. Under optimum environmental conditions (hot and dry weather), the internal temperature of FreshBox can be reduced by up to 10°C, when compared to the outside temperature. This is made possible by the evaporation energy generated by around two liters of water per day.
Find out more at Bosch