Ingenious method that keeps produce fresher for longer.
It can be extremely frustrating to reach into the fridge for an avocado or handful of strawberries and find they have turned to mush. In addition to your personal disappointment and the toll on your wallet, food waste is responsible for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions globally.
Santa Barbara based company, Apeel Sciences, is making it their mission to reduce food waste with its ingenious coating that keeps produce fresh for longer.
The edible coating is made entirely of plant-based materials, such as lipids and glycerolipids found in plant seeds and peels, and slows down water loss and oxidation to make produce last twice, or even three times, as long. The coating is essentially a more energy efficient way of putting your produce in the fridge to extend its life.
Given that nearly 31 million tons of food waste ended up in landfills last year, a cost-effective, safe method for keeping food fresh for longer is a big deal. The company has caught the attention of investors including Bill Gates and Oprah, but their positive global impact extends far beyond attracting flashy investors. Apeel’s signature coating is already used on avocados carried at Costco and others shortly plan to apply the coating to their apples, limes, asparagus, and cucumbers as well.
It is estimated that Apeel will save millions of fruits and veggies from spoiling in 2020.
The simplicity of the coating means it has widespread application potential in the food industry. From farms to grocery stores, the technology will help eliminate food waste along production and distribution lines. In underdeveloped countries, where lack of efficient storage technology is a primary factor in food waste, the coating can protect foods when refrigeration or moisture-free storage environments aren’t available.
Having that avocado in your fridge last an extra week is definitely a bonus, but on a global scale, Apeel has the potential to seriously revolutionize our food systems and eliminate waste for a greener and well-fed future.