Edible coating to extend veg shelf life

An edible coating that promises to extend the shelf life of fruit and vegetables is set to achieve regulatory approval later this year.

The plant-derived coating called Apeel is applied post-harvest as a spray, dip or brush-bed system and creates an optimal micro-climate which maintains the quality and freshness of the product without refrigeration, according to developer Apeel Science.

The company’s head of marketing, Michelle Masek, told IEG Policy that she expected the technology, which is currently being assessed under EU food additives regulations, to roll out in the EU in the second half of 2019. Apeel is already approved for use in the United States, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, China, and Japan.

“Depending on conditions, such as the type of produce, age of the produce etc, we’ve seen at least a doubling or tripling of shelf life across dozens of fruit and vegetable categories,” Masek said.

The coating is made from materials that are found naturally in any kind of fruit and vegetable and often in parts of the plant that are discarded after harvesting such as peels and seeds.

Some varieties provide a richer source of lipids than others and Apeel Sciences is currently focused on its application for use on citrus, asparagus and avocados, but plans to introduce additional categories for suppliers and retailers in 2019.

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