By Sean Poulter Consumer Affairs Editor For The Daily Mail
Published: 22:00 BST, 24 May 2019 | Updated: 23:47 BST, 24 May 2019
Fruit and vegetables will stay fresh for up to three times longer thanks to a new 'natural and edible' coating hailed as a breakthrough against food waste.
It is made from plant-derived materials found in seeds and fruit pulp and forms a natural oxygen barrier preventing everything from bananas to avocados from decaying so quickly.
The coating also means fresh produce can be sold by supermarkets without the need for plastic, which could remove millions of tonnes of waste packaging.
Earlier this week, the European Commission gave safety approval for the use of the new coating, which is called Apeel, for use on selected produce.
The coating is made from plant-derived materials found in seeds and fruit pulp and forms a natural oxygen barrier
The US firm Apeel Sciences has signed a partnership with European distributor Nature's Pride – and avocados using the coating will go into British stores later this year with other fruit and veg to follow.
Time-lapse video and stills show the remarkable ability of Apeel, which controls moisture loss and restricts oxygen getting in, to extend the life of fruit and vegetables.
For example, untreated bananas are shown to go black after ten days, yet those treated with Apeel remain a vibrant yellow. Similarly, green beans become shrivelled and brown, while the treated ones remain green and good to eat.
The treatment was shown to benefit summer fruit, avocados, tomatoes, apples, mangos, asparagus, artichokes and a lemon – which was still fresh after 54 days.
What is Apeel?
A family of plant-derived coatings that keep produce fresh up to three times longer. It leads to a longer shelf life needing less cooling and packaging.
How does it work?
It keeps moisture inside fresh produce and oxygen out, which dramatically slows the rate at which it spoils.
What’s it made of?