Local food technology company makes sustainable french fries

Why ROC

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The food technology company Farther Farms is building a sustainable food processing platform in Rochester’s Eastman Business Park beginning with one of our favorite foods — french fries.

Farther Farms CEO Mike Annunziata discussed the newly introduced fries and the vision behind them Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“We’re a startup based here in Rochester making sustainable french fries,” Annunziata said. “We’re doing it up in the Eastman Business Park. We’ve been here about two and a half years and officially launched our french fry to the Rochester community about a week ago to some pretty strong reception.”

Annunziata said everybody loves french fries and that inspired the desire to reimagine them. “My co-founder is a third-generation potato farmer from India and he was doing a lot of exporting of produce to the Middle East and doing it without refrigerated or frozen cold storage and experiencing a lot of waste. As a result of that, he said is there a way I can create a technology that allows me to preserve the quality without having that waste associated with it? And he came to Cornell University down in Ithaca to work on a technology that could do just that and four years later here we are. We’ve taken that technology and scaled it up into a pilot plant at the Business Park and are now making our first product with that technology that is much more sustainable to make it possible for us to have a more sustainable food system as we continue to go into the future, and population grows and we need to make sure that we can eat healthier, more nutritious food.”

Farther Farms uses a gentle carbon dioxide pressure treatment to produce great tasting french fries that require no refrigeration or freezing. Over time, Annunziata said the technology has the potential to reduce reliance on cold chain infrastructure.

“Rochester, from day one, has been incredibly supportive – the folks at Eastman Business Park, obviously the food hub that’s here, the Wegmans have been incredibly supportive of us from day one, and the talent here really has been phenomenal,” said Annunziata. “We’ve been able to recruit food science Ph.D.’s., chemical engineers, mechanical engineers. We’ve got all of the service professionals that are needed to build our pilot plant and the diversity of restaurants that are here that can be supportive and allow us to prove out the product and why it’s so delicious and why it tastes so good and why it’s so unique I think there really wasn’t a better place for us, given our ties, to set down roots.”

Farther Farms is presently expanding the roster of restaurants in town where you can find their french fries. “Right now you can get it at The Hideaway on Park Avenue and Magic Wings on the West Side,” noted Annunziata. “A couple of other places are piloting it – that I’m not quite allowed to share just yet. Or if you’re feeling excited to take a road trip down to Ithaca you can get it at Luna Street Food with some poutine specials down there from one of our early supporters.”

To learn more about Farther Farms and their french fries, visit FartherFarms.com.

To learn more about Greater Rochester Enterprise, visit RochesterBiz.com.

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