On Produce That Last Forever

Using totally natural and edible material, a small start-up in California has found a way to extend the life of fresh produce by as much as five times.

Apeel Sciences (witty name I see!) uses leaves, stems, banana peels and other fresh plant materials to develop a method for creating undetectable, edible barriers that can extend the life of produce by weeks.

GIF curtesy of The New York Times.

On average, it takes about 30 days to get blueberries grown in Chile all the way up to markets in the U.S. This means that these blueberries are picked before they’re ripe and shipped with a lot of refrigeration. And Apeel wants to change that.

The way Apeel’s technology works is by taking raw plant material and extracting all of the liquid from it until nothing but tiny pellets are left. They then takes molecules from those pellets and inserts them into the skin of the produce, which expand into the skin and help reduce the amount of water and gases that goes in and out, thus slowing the rate of decay (genius).

Apeel could not only increase yields by reducing losses at the harvest level, but it could also reduce agriculture’s environmental impact by allowing growers to ship products at higher temperatures. Apeel’s technology also helps repel pests and fungi, allowing more produce to enter the markets and ultimately bringing down prices for consumers.

Oh, and the FDA approved it as a product safe to eat and good for sale.

So, just to recap — Apeel helps increase harvest yields, reduces environmental impacts, lowers costs, is approved by the FDA, could possibly help diminish food waste and is made from all natural ingredients (not wax).

I’m in.