New powder helps keep fruit fresh

A Californian company, Apeel Sciences, is developing a new naturally-derived post harvest coating which will keep produce fresher for longer and help reduce waste.

Edipeel is entirely invisible, tasteless and edible. When it is applied to the surface of plants, it provides a protective layer that reduces the oxidation and transpiration that cause produce to wither and become discoloured. The product itself is made from vegetable waste.

In an interview, James Rogers, CEO and founder of Apeel, explained that while the product, which has been approved by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is distributed as a powder in packets, it is applied as a dip or a spray. ““We rip [the packets]open…and then we reconstitute them in liquid form. In that liquid form, we can then dip fresh produce in that solution or spray that solution onto a surface of a piece of produce. When it dries, it leaves behind this imperceptibly thin barrier of plant material on the outside of the produce,” he said.

The company has raised $40 million to develop the technology and is also working on a pre-harvest version to reduce pesticide use.

Photo Credit: Apeel Sciences

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