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Saturday, April 13, 2024

New edible coating keeps fruit fresh

The European Commission has given safety approval for the use of a revolutionary new food coating that prolongs the life of fruit and vegetables.

Apeel is a plant-derived coating applied post-harvest that creates a second edible ‘peel’ which prevents water loss and oxidation – the two primary causes of spoilage. Applied by spray, dip or brush-on method, it creates an optimal micro-climate in every piece of produce that lasts from the time it’s applied, through to consumption.

The US firm behind the innovation, Apeel Sciences, has signed a partnership with European distributor Nature’s Pride and avocados using the coating will be made available in British stores later this year – with other fruit and veg to follow.

The coating is made from lipids and glycerolipids that exist in the peel, seeds and pulp of all fruits and vegetables. Apeel claims its technology has prolonged the life of at least two dozen different products including avocados, tomatoes, apples, mangos, asparagus, artichokes and a lemon – which remained fresh after 54 days.

Time lapse video shows untreated bananas turning black after 10 days while those treated with Apeel remained vibrant yellow. Similarly, green beans shrivel and turn inedible after 15 days – while those treated remained the same.

Apeel began as a Southern California-based food technology start-up in 2012. It has since raised more than $110 million in funding from investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Approximately 50 percent of all fruit and veg in the EU goes to waste.

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