Avocados with preservative coating launch in Europe
Avocados with a plant-derived coating that extends shelf life are now available at Edeka stores in Germany and Salling Group stores in Denmark.
Developed by fruit preservation company Apeel Sciences, the edible, plant-derived coating allows fruit and vegetables to stay fresh for two to three times longer, reducing food waste throughout the supply chain and cutting reliance on refrigeration, controlled atmospheres and single-use plastic.
The preservative coating, which is made from lipids and glycerolipids that can be found in the peels, seeds and pulp of fruit and vegetables, creates a natural barrier that locks in moisture and reduces oxidation. The technology is distributed as a powder which is then mixed with water and coated on fruit or vegetables.
Working with European supply partner Nature’s Pride, Apeel avocados are now available in Edeka and Netto stores in Germany, and in Salling Group stores Føtex and Bilka in Denmark. The avocados are already available at major grocery stores in the US, where the technology has helped to reduce food waste by 50 per cent, according to Apeel.
The company claims to have prevented over one million avocados from going to waste since 2018, saving enough water to fill 288 olympic-sized swimming pools.
After receiving regulatory approval from the European Commission in June, Apeel ran a UK trial on Peruvian mandarins in Asda supermarkets in September.
James Rogers, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Apeel Sciences, said: “Approval of Apeel’s technology in Europe demonstrates the European Commission’s commitment to addressing our planet’s massive food waste crisis, which is now understood to be a top contributor to climate change.
“Our US partners are realising the value of Apeel and are halving their food waste in many cases. Our next critical step is assisting retailers across Europe in their efforts to reduce waste, while simultaneously improving profits and enabling customers to enjoy fresh, high quality produce with a longer shelf life and ripe time.”
Adriëlle Dankier, Chief Commercial Officer at Nature’s Pride, said: “Every day we work across the entire chain to create innovative solutions that will make the world healthier and more sustainable. Apeel allows us to significantly reduce food waste, so we are extremely proud that the result of our intensive cooperation has now reached the shelves. We look forward to reaching more consumers in Europe with our products with Apeel.”
With 10 million tonnes of food wasted annually, according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), food preservation technologies such as Apeel’s edible coating could prove to be a crucial solution to the growing food waste problem.
Another similar product has been developed by UK packaging company It’s Fresh! – a filter that absorbs and locks in ethylene, the ripening hormone in fresh produce, to slow down the ripening process and extend the life and quality of fruit.
You can find out more about Apeel Sciences on the company’s website.