Apeel Science offers a non-GMO based solution to preserve your fruits and veggies in a natural, environmentally-friendly way. Also, it helps tackle the never-ending problem of lack of food resources and food/water wastage.

Did you know that, in the US only, the majority of the fresh water available is consumed for irrigation, while 40% of fresh produce is lost to spoilage before it can be used? As the world confronts itself with the implications of uncontrolled wastage of resources and with the demands of an ever-expanding population, agricultural science and new food technologies are key to increase the efficiency with which we use our natural resources.

Among others, Santa Barbara-based startup Apeel Sciences says they have now come up with a ‘natural’, easy solution to the atavic food/water waste problem. Their scientisits and researchers claim to be able to extend the shelf life of  fruits and veggies by as much as five times. How? Thanks to the application of an edible coating made of plant skins and stems. The Edipeel and Invisipeel coatings, acting as natural barriers to riping agents, slow down the wilting process and prevent your products from decaying. This can be applied to produce anytime during its lifespan.

That means, if you spray the coating on a ripe strawberry that’s starting to wither, it will last about a week longer than normal.

There are currenlty six farms in Southern California, Kenya, and Nigeria which are using Apeel’s products, CEO James Rogers confirmed to Business Insider.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Apeel’s first products, the coating Edipeel and Invisipeel, as “generally recognized as safe,” meaning they’re safe to eat and sell.

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When washed onto the surface of produce, the coating forms an invisible “peel” of edible plant material that naturally slows water loss and oxidation — the factors that cause quality loss and spoilage. Courtesy of Apeel Sciences.

 

Edipeel and Invisipeel

Edipeel keeps water from leaving and oxygen from entering produce, while Invisipeel keeps insects away. They both act on natural processes that make produce decay and can be applied together onto the same food.

The coating technology protects crops and helps to reduce spoilage, which in turn reduces water use, lowers energy costs, and helps preserve natural ecosystems.

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Katlin Svik, MSc, Apeel’s Director of Emerging Markets. Courtesy of Business Insider.

Once applied, the coatings dry and act as shields to natural gases (e.g. oxygen). With the barrier, produce lasts up to five times longer than untreated produce. While it dries, the liquid coating interacts with food moluecules and helps preserve them.

Using agricultural byproducts — parts of the plant that are normally discarded — Apeel creates products that fortify the surfaces of fresh fruits and vegetables, forming an ultra-thin barrier that camouflages crops and shields produce from both biotic and abiotic stressors.

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Tim Cronshaw, researcher at Apeel. Courtesy Apeel Sciences.

While avoiding waste, the coating also enables restaurants and businesses to source the produce from markets that are further away and import from countries which simply weren’t an option before.


Apeel’s testing

The Apeel team is currently testing their coatings on all kinds of fruits and veggies. In addition, they are exploring other possible applications for Edipeel and Invisipeel, including water-proof yet breathable solutions for fabrics.

Strawberries

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Bananas

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Beans

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