Research

Second skin for fruits and vegetables will double their shelf life

We throw out about a third of all fruits andvegetables. California-based Apeel wants to change this with a natural coating that will allow products to stay fresh twice as long. The reason is simple: about a third of all food that is produced in developed countries never falls on the dining table. This is billions of dollars. And we, as a rule, throw away fruits and vegetables that look unattractive. Apeel offers to cover them with a colorless, odorless, fitable skin that will double or triple the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.

How to keep the fruit fresh longer

The thin coating consists of pulp, peel and seeds.other fruits and vegetables. They turn into a powder, which is then mixed with water and applied to the product by spraying, boning or rubbing, after which it dries. This “second skin” acts as a barrier, slowing down water loss and exposure to air, the main factors that lead to food spoilage. Lemon, which can remain fresh for one month, can remain fresh two to three times more after Apeel treatment. And since the shell is made up of fruits and other plants, it is also edible.

According to the founder and CEOApeel by James Rogers, the company has already processed 8 million avocados. The company claims that in pilot versions, the amount of food waste in retailers and suppliers was reduced by more than 50%, thanks to this coverage. The company also raised $ 110 million from investors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and is about to launch a program in Europe.

“We didn’t need to talk about itretailers - they have known this for more than ten years, ”says Rogers. Now, avocados, processed by Apeel, must arrive in some stores in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway by the middle of the year, subject to approval from the European Union. Other fruits are likely to appear soon, although Apeel does not indicate which ones.

According to the president of the analytical center FoodTank Daniel Nirenberg, the biggest challenge for Apeel will be to force manufacturers, retailers and consumers to process products in this way. Consumers do not always accept food-related innovations - remember genetically modified products (GMOs). But if this obstacle can be overcome, she believes, Apeel will help people gain confidence in the purchase of fruits and vegetables, because those are less likely to go to the trash.

Rogers is confident that the usual ingredients of the coating will help to convince people. Product handling in this way will be announced on the packaging.

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