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FoodCycler

What's the difference between the FC-30 and the Vitamix FC-50?


The Vitamix FC-50 uses the same technology as the existing FC-30, but includes several notable upgrades:-

  • A 3-year full warranty backed by Vitamix including 2-way shipping
  • An included deodorizing bucket lid for easy odourless storage in your kitchen
  • A new “Pause” feature so you can easily add last-minute additions to your cycle without starting all over again
  • A new Vitamix-branded colour scheme for a more modern aesthetic




What CAN / CAN'T the FoodCycler process?


CAN

  • Most fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Meat, shellfish, and poultry scraps
  • Cheese
  • Beans, seeds, and legumes
  • Chicken and fish bones/shells
  • Coffee grounds, filters, and tea bags
  • Eggs and eggshells
CAN'T
  • Hard, dense bones (beef, pork, lamb and bison)
  • Candy or gum
  • Cooking oils and greases
  • Hard pits (peaches, apricots, nectarines)
  • Nuts and other hard shells
  • Pineapple leaves
  • Watermelon rinds
IN LIMITED QUANTITIES
  • cake
  • rice
  • bread
  • pasta
  • high sugar fruits (grapes, bananas, melon, oranges and pineapple)
  • sauces
  • jams
  • jellies
  • peanut butter
Cut up prior to cycling:
  • corn cobs
  • corn husks
  • parsley
  • cilantro
  • asparagus
  • celery
*Large bones and pits can cause jams or damage the bucket's grinding gears. *Be sure to mix these items with other, recommended food wastes, particularly egg shells, coffee grinds and/or citrus peels. If the items listed above are cycled without proper mixing, cutting and variety, the items may not process entirely, or your by-product could stick to the bottom and sides of the bucket.




How much food waste can the unit cycle at one time?


The FoodCycler grinding bucket can cycle approximately 2 litres of waste at a time. Please ensure that contents do not exceed the bucket’s fill-line (marked within the bucket) to avoid jams.




What is the internal temperature of the unit during cycle?


The air temperature inside the unit is approximately 70°C. The heating plate inside the unit ranges from between 80°C - 120°C. The unit uses moisture and heat sensors to determine the appropriate temperature throughout the cycle.




How much electricity does the unit consume?


The unit consumes an average of 0.8 kWh per cycle - less than a desktop computer. Dependent on where you live, each cycle should not cost you more than a couple of cents. The FoodCycler™ has built-in sensor technology that monitors the dryness and humidity of the food waste. Once complete, the unit will stop the cycle automatically.




How long does the FoodCycler cycle last?


Unit cycle time runs anywhere between 3-8 hours, depending on the amount of organic material being processed, and the moisture content of the food waste. Please note that these estimates exclude the unit's cooling time which lasts less than a half hour on average.




How long do the filters last?


The carbon filters last between 3-4 months with regular use, or 500 cycle hours. The life expectancy of the carbon filters is determined by the moisture content of the food waste, and the natural odourosness of the food waste. Denser, wetter and smellier food wastes will go through filters much faster than simple veggie scraps and egg shells.




What are the 3 stages of the Cycle - Drying, Grinding, Cooling?


The Drying phase is focused on removing moisture from your food waste. The blade turns less frequently during this part of the cycle. The Grinding phase continues the drying process to remove any remaining moisture. The blade turns more frequently during this part of the cycle. The Cooling phase is a safety measure, to return the processed food waste to near-room temperature, making it safe to handle. Power usage is minimal during the Cooling phase. *PLEASE DO NOT SKIP THE COOLING CYCLE. It is for your safety and for the safe handling of your FoodCycler™ and grinding bucket.




Can I add food waste to the FoodCycler once I've already started a cycle?


You can, but it is not recommended. Adding additional food waste to the unit during the cycle slows the dehydration and grinding process. Further, the unit will restart the cycle, which could add to your overall cycle time, depending on when you interrupted it. However, if you do add food waste mid-cycle, the unit has humidity sensors that will take into account the food waste that was already being processed, meaning that it won't take nearly as long as the first "round". The food added later may not be properly ground up at the end of the cycle.




Can I open the lid on the FoodCycler during the process to see what's going on?


No. The lid should be kept locked once you've pressed Start to prevent the cycle from being prematurely or improperly finished, or from lasting longer than usual. Further, the unit will beep and stop cycling when the lid is unlocked. The food waste and bucket get very hot during the process so it is strongly recommended to keep the lid shut.




Can I empty the bucket as soon as soon as the unit finishes its cycle?


Once the unit beeps and/or shuts off following a cycle, the bucket is safe to handle - though may still be quite warm. Please exercise caution when handling the bucket directly after a cycle.




Why is my FoodCycler emitting odour?


The unit could be emitting an odour for a variety of reasons. The carbon filters are required to ensure a near-odourless cycle. They last approximately 500 cycle hours, or 3-4 months with regular use. Even if the Replace Filter light has not gone on yet, you may need to switch out your filters. Similarly, you can continue cycling even if the Filter light as gone on. Filter life is determined by the moisture quantity in the food waste, and the natural odorousness of each cycle. If you are cycling rotten, smelly or potent food wastes (such as rotten meat, or old cheese) your filters may not last as long as if you were cycling simple veggie scraps and coffee grounds. Another consideration, is that you may not have removed the filter stickers on the tops of the filters which are attached post-production to limit carbon spillage. Make sure your filter stickers are removed prior to using the FoodCycler™.




How can I clean my FoodCycler grinding bucket?


The removeable grinding bucket is dishwasher-safe. However, you don't really need to clean it at all! If the bucket is not jammed with processed food waste, you can simply continue to add food waste to the bucket and cycle as usual. Any residue stuck to the bucket is almost always a cosmetic issue, and caused by the oil/grease or moisture content of the unit cycle. For an all-natural clean, try cycling citrus peels by themeslves! This will also help to eliminate any trapped odors in the unit's ventilation system. If dried food waste is stuck to the bucket, soak in warm soapy water to remove.




What happens to the methane gases during the cycle?


Methane gas is emitted during the decomposition process of organic materials in an anaerobic ("no air") environment. Methane is 30 times more insulative of atmospheric heat than CO2, and is therefore a huge contributing force to global climate change. Since the FoodCycler™ aerates the food waste while heating and pulverizing (an aerobic environment), those environmentally damaging methane gases are not produced at all. Food waste which decomposes anaerobically will generate a considerable amount of harmful methane gas emissions that are 30x more harmful to the environment than the C02 emissions from your cars. The 0.8 kWh of energy that the FoodCycler uses is considerably more friendly to the environment than all that food waste stinking up the dump! (Not to mention the emissions contributed by waste-collection trucks, even if your municipality does have a regular green bin service!) The amount of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions divert from the atmosphere over a 1 year period through the use of the FoodCycler is equivalent to:

  • 4.4 tree seedlings grown for 10 years
  • 11.5 trash bags of waste recycled instead of landfilled
  • 29.7 gallons of gasoline not consumed
In areas with renewable energy, the FoodCycler’s lifetime energy requirements actually contributes less CO2 than a backyard composter.




What are the specifications of FoodCycler?


Dimensions : 32cm (W) x 36cm (H) x 33cm (L) Weight : 13kg (in box), 9kg (out of box) Bucket Capacity : 2.5 litres Plug Type : Type G, compatible with the Malaysian power source Voltage : 220 - 240V Input Wattage : 500W Warranty : 1 Year International Manufacturer Warranty Brand Origin Country : Canada (Food Cycle Science) Manufacturing Country : China Carton Size : 35cm (W) x 47.3cm (H) x 42cm (L) Cable Length : approximately 1.4m




How can I store my by-product during the winter?


Your by-product can be stored after your cycle in an open-air container for a period of one week. After this one-week period, you can store the by-product for up to a year in a closed-top container, if preferred.




Can I run my FoodCycler in the garage?


Yes you can! Please be aware that, like most appliances, the FoodCycler™ is not intended to function in below-freezing temperatures. The FoodCycler™ must be in a closed, dry environment where there is no risk of it being rained on or otherwise subjected to the elements.




Can I recycle my filters/bucket?


Yes you can! The filters are made of PP5 plastic and can be recycled after use in most townships/municipalities. In order for the filters to be accepted by your recycling processing provider, the carbon inside the filters must be cleaned out completely. To do this, carefully prise off the top of the filters and empty the carbon into either your garbage or garden (the material is actually a wonderful additive to your soil!), then rinse the inside of the filters. The buckets are made of aluminium with a porcelain-coating on the interior of the bucket and are strength-tested for optimal performance. Buckets can be recycled through your local metal scrap collection service.




What do I do if my FoodCycler is malfunctioning?


Prior to seeking customer support, we recommend that customers try a few troubleshooting steps on their own: Manual Reset (manually shutting down the unit to reset to its original program settings)

  1. Ensure that the unit is plugged in.
  2. Press and hold the Start/Power button for three seconds, or until you hear a beep. The unit should shut off if it was “on”.
  3. Unplug the unit and wait one minute.
  4. Plug the unit back in and wait ten seconds.
  5. Press Start/Power once, as you normally would to start a cycle.
  6. You’re done! If the unit is still malfunctioning in some way, please contact FoodCycler’s Customer Support Team.




Any noise while running FoodCycler?


The Food Cycler will emit approximately 5 decibels of sound during cycling, which is quieter than a dishwasher. If, however you are cycling something that is particularly hard to process, the FoodCycler may make a few louder noises (such as groaning or grinding noises). This is normal but does imply that the user may want to run lighter cycles in future to avoid wear on the gears.




What is FoodCycler made of?


The body of the FoodCycler is ABS plastic, the bucket is porcelain-coated aluminum, the filters’ body is PP5 plastic and the filter contents is an activated carbon particulate which naturally deodorizes odors.




How does it work?


Agitators in the FoodCycler quietly break down the food waste into small particles while the unit aerates the waste thoroughly, sterilizing the by-product entirely and reducing its volume. The unique carbon filter filtration system eliminates most odors, making it ideal for indoor use. While the by-product does not have the same microbial quality as traditional compost, your homemade fertilizer (or "foodilizer") is still highly rich in important nutrients, with an NPK of 4-1-1. The by-product has been scientifically proven to be beneficial for optimal vegetation growth.




Can I place FoodCycler outside?


Your FoodCycler can technically be plugged in and left outside while being used, however, if exposed to any elements (wind, water and cold temperatures) the unit could get damaged as for example water will damage the unit completely. Please also ensure that the unit is only stored or used in temperatures above freezing. The FoodCycler should not be exposed to rain, extreme humidity or below-freezing temperatures. We always recommend that the FoodCycler be run indoors, out of the elements for optimal functioning.




Do the filters work in standby mode?


The filters are not in use when the unit is in Standby mode (power light on, but not running). The filters only deodorize the cycle when the unit is running.




Can I run the unit without filters?


The unit does not require filters to function properly. The sole role of the filters is to deodorize the cycle.




What are the filter caps for?


The filter caps help divert the filtered air emitted during the cycle toward the back of the unit to vent. They are not, however, crucial to the proper venting of the unit. If you break or lose a filter cap (or both) the unit will still function and vent effectively.





FoodCycler By-Product

Why isn't my by-product in powder form?


The by-product will look considerably different based on the types of food wastes added to the cycle. A cycle which has ample coffee grinds in it will likely appear like a dry dirt. More fibrous food wastes will appear like small flakes or like cut-up straw. The by-product varies in color, texture and volume. The form taken by the by-product at the end of the cycle depends entirely on the fiber content of the pre-cycle food waste. Fish or cooked veggies, for example, should appear in powder form, however certain uncooked vegetables may appear in cereal form. Cake, rice, other starches and certain dense/fibrous items will have a thicker, chunkier texture.




Can my pet(s) eat the by-product?


We do NOT recommend feeding your by-product to your pets, as the by-product has not been tested in any of its forms as pet food or animal food supplement. While the by-product has been broken down and sterilized by the cycle, the pulverized and dehydrated food bits still contain components of the pre-cycled food waste. Therefore, if there is anything in the cycle that could be harmful to pets (such as chocolate, or sharp bits of chicken bone), this could be harmful or even lethal to your pets. Remember: what goes in is what comes out. As with anything involving animals, we always recommend caution, as the FoodCycler is intended to reduce food waste first and foremost. Animals have a superior sense of smell to humans, and some pets or pests may be interested in eating the cycled food waste. To keep this from happening, we recommend keeping your stored by-product out of reach of animals. When incorporating the by-product into your soil, we recommend that you mix it in at a minimum ratio of 1 part by-product to 10 parts soil, and do not top-cover your soil with the by-product. The material must be thoroughly incorporated and covered by the soil.




How do I use the by-product in my garden?


To make the absolute most of your homemade fertilizer, we recommend letting the by-product sit in an open-air container following the cycle to allow any remaining moisture to evaporate for a period of at least 1 week. Once you're ready to incorporate the by-product in your garden, we recommend mixing the latter in with your garden soil at a ratio of 1 part "foodilizer" to 10-15 parts soil, as the by-product is extremely rich in nitrogen. Too much nitrogen can harm roots and impact the healthy growth of plants. Ensure to mix in well below the soil surface, as any by-product that has been exposed to moisture will begin to rehydrate and may emit odor or attract pests. Once the by-product has been mixed into the soil, we recommend a "curing" period of up to four weeks before planting seeds. This is not mandatory, however it will produce the absolute best results. The by-product must combine with the natural microbiome of your garden soil in order to regenerate lost bacteria. This curing period will allow the by-product to continue to decompose naturally in the soil, making it a natural, nutrient-rich environment for your plants.




What is the by-product, exactly?


The FoodCycler™ by-product is an all-natural soil amendment. This means that the food waste that you have dehydrated and pulverized with the FoodCycler™ is both safe and beneficial for gardening applications. It is a particulate organic material with an NPK of 4-1-1 (Note: This is an average value and can vary depending on what is processed), and is therefore excellent for providing nitrogen to your plants. Just like with synthetic fertilizers, too much of a good thing can actually damage your plant roots and cause nitrogen "burn". Please read the "How do I use the by-product in my garden?" section for instructions. Something else to keep in mind: the healthier the food waste you are cycling, the healthier your plants will be. Foods high in sodium, saturated fats, greases and sugars can do more damage than good. Food waste from vegetables (especially organic veggies), fruits, grains and proteins will produce the best soil amendment. The FoodCycler by-product does not contain microbes and is therefore not compost. However, once the by-product is incorporated into the soil, it will continue to break down by feeding and being aerated by the existing soil microbiota and will become compost once that process is complete.




Why is my by-product molding on my potted plants?


This is completely normal. Saprophytic fungi, which produce a thin, whispy white mould, are a natural part of the decomposition process. They simply indicate that there is organic matter decaying in your soil - which, of course, there is! Your by-product is not complete as a soil amendment until it has completely combined with your soil and begun to decompose, releasing crucial nutrients into its soil environment. This process can product mould, especially if the "foodilizer" is applied to surface areas. Always mix in the by-product with your soil thoroughly, with a ratio of 1:10. To eliminate the mould, try a small sprinkling of cinnamon when mixing your by-product in with your soil - cinnamon is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and will not harm your plants.




Can I add the by-product to my vermicompost bin?


Great question!

FoodCycler by-product can, in theory, be added to your vermicompost bin. However, there are certain conditions: just as you would not add food that is high in sodium, sugars or fats directly to your worm bin, so you wouldn’t want to add similar food wastes to the bin even if that food waste has been processed by the FoodCycler first. For example: while the FoodCycler can handle meats, dairy and even processed food, worms should not have too much of these items as they can be harmful to them/invite pests.
We recommend following your regular feeding style and routine with your wiggly friends, perhaps adding (diet-restrictive) soil amendment in small amounts at first, to see whether or not the worms are interested in the dehydrated material. We have not done tests in this capacity, therefore all of the above is theoretical, based on our knowledge of the product and its by-product. As with anything involving animals, we always recommend caution, as the FoodCycler is intended to reduce food waste first and foremost.




How do I store it?


The by-product can be stored indefinitely in a dry environment. If it becomes wet, it may rot and produce mould/odours. Following the cycle, we recommend leaving your by-product in an open-air container for a period of one week to ensure that no moisture is stored by the cycled materials, which will mitigate the potential for odours/mould.




Adding it to the worm bin/compost?


FoodCycler by-product can, in theory, be added to your vermicompost bin. However, there are certain conditions: just as you would not add food that is high in sodium, sugars or fats directly to your worm bin, so you wouldn’t want to add similar food wastes to the bin even if that food waste has been processed by the FoodCycler first. For example: while the FoodCycler can handle meats, dairy and even processed food, worms should not have too much of these items as they can be harmful to them/invite pests. We recommend following your regular feeding style and routine with your wiggly friends, perhaps adding (diet restrictive) soil amendment in small amounts at first, to see whether or not the worms are interested in the dehydrated material. We have not done tests in this capacity, therefore all of the above is theoretical, based on our knowledge of the product and its by-product.





How To (Videos)

How to use FoodCycler?





How to replace filters?