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Edible Coating Enhances Shelf Life of Fruit & Protects from Decay and Wastage!

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

At present 40 percent of the food grown goes to waste. How to save this 40 percent wastage? Nature is giving us the challenge to overcome the problem of wastage; the solution is also to find out from the nature itself. To keep the freshness of the produce is the major challenge. How to protect the skin of the produce so that freshness is visible from its appearance or aroma?

UK based scientists and innovators have figured out method to extend the shelf life of produce that works with nature. This is good for the planet and profitable for farmers and retailers. 

An edible coating has been developed to keep the surface of the produce intact and the name was given APEEL.  Apeel Sciences has announced that it run a limited time test with UK retailer Asda of its solution for mandarins. Apeel was recently given regulatory approval from the European Commission. This test with UK based retailers is a sign that Apeel produce may arrive at European supermarkets later this fall.

"We’re always looking at how we can reduce food waste right the way through our supply chain and into our customers’ homes,” said Nasir Ahmed, Produce Technical Manager at Asda. "Increasing shelf life means our customers can enjoy fresher produce for longer, so we’re really excited about the potential of Apeel and I’m delighted Asda is a part of this trial.”

“As a true innovator and sustainability leader, Asda is our first UK retail partner to demonstrate its commitment to fighting the global food waste crisis, starting with Apeel mandarins that stay fresh much longer,” said Gordon Robertson, Chief Revenue Officer at Apeel Sciences. He said, “This commercial test will be the next step in validating Apeel’s ability to make an impact on reducing food waste in stores & for customers, with the goal of Apeel produce arriving on shelves at Asda & other retailers across Europe.”

The mandarin producer that has supplied the fruit - La Calera - told it is proud to be a participant in this test. The company is supportive of the research efforts of companies like Apeel and believes such innovations will not only help mandarins, but also the wider produce community.

“Entrepreneurs and scientists move our industry forward, and we’re proud partners of this pioneering project with Apeel," said Alex Gallagher, general manager at La Calera Peru. "La Calera is well-known as the leading citrus grower in Peru & has always been at the forefront of innovation. It is the first with new varieties, and willing to trial new ideas in packaging, agronomy, machinery, and logistics. So for us, it was an easy decision to work together on a product that could dramatically change the future of fresh produce, including mandarins.”

Apeel is a plant-derived, water-based coating that give produce a little extra “peel” that slows the rate of spoilage, and it’s made of materials that exist in the peels, seeds, and pulp of all the fruits and vegetables we already eat, according to the company. it claims that Apeel doubles to triples the shelf life of many types of fresh produce which reduces food waste.

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