Heinz, Ford team up on tomato byproducts research

    Ford Motor Co. and the H.J. Heinz Co., the Pittsburgh-based ketchup maker, are teaming up on research to turn tomato skins into auto parts.

    Scientists at both companies believe they can use tomato fibers to manufacture composite materials used for wiring brackets, or storage bins in cars instead of petroleum-based plastics, according to a news release.

    Ford began working with Heinz, The Coca-Cola Company, Nike Inc. and Procter & Gamble to speed up attempts to create a “a 100 percent plant-based plastic to be used to make everything from fabric to packaging,” a Ford representative said.

    Meanwhile, Heinz was looking to recycle the leftover parts of the 2 million tons of tomatoes Heinz uses to make ketchup each year.

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    The companies say the technology has been validated, but still needs to be refined.

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