New invisible coating aims to extends shelf life of produce

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Wish your favorite fruits and vegetables would have a longer shelf life? A new product claims to do just that.

Apeel Sciences is a company that created an edible and invisible “second peel” that slows the rate of water loss and oxidation. This “peel” can increase the shelf life of the produce you find in your local grocery store.

“It is completely natural,” Produce Moms founder and CEO Lori Taylor said. “It is a plant-derived layer that is applied to the surface of your produce to simply add an extra layer of protection.”

Produce Moms is a company that works to supply more than 300 grocery stores with specialty crops, which includes fruits and vegetables. Though 40 percent of the food produced is thrown away, 1-in-8 Americans still struggle with hunger.

Taylor believes Apeel will help change those facts.

The “peel” is added after the fruit or vegetable has been picked and before they are packed and shipped to stores. Though most don’t eat peels, the plant-derived layer is safe for consumers and is 100 percent natural.

“Apeel is colorless, tasteless and odorless on produce,” Taylor said, “but I want folks to know that Apeel is completely safe to eat and is edible.”

Kroger has become the first grocery store to use Apeel Sciences on their avocado produce. Here in Fort Wayne, every store has the product.

“Apeel is a huge game-changer,” Taylor said. “It’s really exciting and this brand is just beginning.”

But does the “second peel” really work? WANE 15 decide to do an experiment using avocados. We purchased avocados from Kroger that had the Apeel produce and avocados that did not have the Apeel coating on them.

Pictured Above: The avocados on Day 1 of the experiment. The Apeel treated fruit is on the right.
Pictured Below: The avocados on Day 4 of the experiment.

On Day 1, each avocado looked the same. The same was true on day 2 – no change.

But on Day 3, that changed. Though the outside remained the same color and size. the difference was in the texture. When you squeezed on the non-coated avocados, they became soft, while those with coating stood firm.

So in WANE 15’s experiment, the non-coated avocados ripened faster than the coated ones.

“In the near future I think you’ll be able find Apeel on lots of other products on the grocery store shelves,” Taylor said.

To find Apeel products in a store near you, click here.

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