British supermarket giant Tesco is to trial Apeel, a plant-based wrap that doubles the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
Apeel works by using substances found already found in the skins, peels, and seeds of all produce (the specific ingredients are not disclosed). The protective layer is applied onto the product, giving it an extra “peel” that slows down water lass and oxidation that causes produce to spoil.
The extra protection from spoilage, said the company, will help fight food waste between the supplier, store, and at home.
According to a report, supermarkets in the UK throw away nearly 100,000 tonnes of edible food annually, and the country’s total food waste could feed approximately 30 million people a year.
The trial will see approximately 80 Tesco stores in Peterborough stock Apeel-coated Jaffa Sweat Easy Peelers, Jaffa Oranges, and Lemons to understand Apeel‘s effect on each fruit’s shelf-life. Customers will also be able to share their feedback on the products’ packaging back panels.
Apeel’s plant-based coating allows for longer-lasting produce using materials already found in all fruits and vegetables’ skins, peels, and seeds. This protective extra “peel” slows the water loss and oxidation that causes produce to spoil, and it’s the only proven solution for maintaining freshness from farm to kitchen.
The trial could also help reduce plastic packaging. Currently, the shelf-life of produce like cucumbers or tomatoes are extended using plastic wrap. This will no longer be needed if Apeel can replicate plastic’s “life-extending” benefits.