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Valley Packer Is Turning Tomatoes Into Drinking Water



Capitalizing on new technology, a Los Banos processing plant is transforming tomatoes into clean, fresh drinking water. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Rodriguez)
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The New Testament says that Jesus turned water into wine.

Here in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, an ag processing company is performing something akin to a biblical miracle.

Ingomar Packing in Los Banos is using new technology to extract fresh drinking water from tomatoes, CBS13 in Sacramento reports.

The technology capitalizes on the fact that a raw tomato is about 95% water.

How the Technology Works

“We harvest the water that naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables,” said Terry Paule, CEO of London-based Botanical Water Technologies. “What we do is we cleverly catch that evaporative condensate and then we run it through our purification process.”

Botanical Water Technologies believes that it will play a big role in delivering clean, safe drinking water to 100 million of the world’s most vulnerable people by 2025.

The company’s water harvesting units are connected to the end of Ingomar’s tomato paste-making pipes. The units cost about $1 million each.

But Ingomar’s sales and energy manager, Greg Pruett, says the technology is worth it.

“What we’re hoping is to expand our footprint here with this technology and hopefully start a trend with facilities around the world where this potential is untapped right now,” said Pruett.

Ingomar’s Sustainability Efforts

On its website, Ingomar says that it “fully understands the stakes of environmental sustainability today” and boasts of its efforts to reduce waste, use solar power, and restore wetlands.

Ingomar’s first tanks of water are going to the Central California Irrigation District for groundwater recharge in disenfranchised communities.

Read more at this CBS13 link.

Watch: A Look at Ingomar Packing


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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