A novelty on the German market – from 9 December onwards Edeka will be selling avocados, which reportedly have a longer shelf life thanks to an edible protective layer. Known as a coating, this gives fruits a wafer-thin jacket that reduces cell respiration.
Edeka is so far the only German partner company of “Apeel Sciences”. The US firm has found a technology to extend the shelf life of fresh fruit and vegetables: The coating product “Apeel” is made from plant materials contained in the shells, seeds and flesh of various fruits and vegetables. An additional layer is thus added to the surface of fresh products to slow down the loss of water and the penetration of oxygen – two major factors that cause their usual spoilage. The “second skin” is odorless and non-flavored.
“Apeel” Avocados – also in Netto stores
Initially, avocados with ‘Apeel’ will be offered to customers in selected Edeka stores in parts of northern Germany and North Rhine-Westphalia and in Netto stores in parts of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony. Consumers will be able to recognize the products by their corresponding labelling. Nationwide availability is planned for 2020. “Apeel is a natural answer to the question of how fresh fruit and vegetables can be kept fresh for longer and how it is also possible to save on plastic packaging,” explained Markus Mosa, CEO of Edeka AG.
The US company has developed “Apeel” recipes for more than 30 types of fruit and vegetables. Explaining the decision to work exclusively with Edeka on the German market, Dr. James Rogers, CEO of Apeel Sciences, says, “We share the same values –. Above all, responsible handling and sustainable production of food, especially fruit and vegetables.”
Food technicians have long been working on how to improve the shelf life, consistency and taste of fruit and vegetables in order to reduce spoilage and save on packaging material. In addition, a recent UN study has shown that 14 percent of all foodstuffs worldwide are “lost” or spoil too quickly during production. Reasons include errors in harvesting, transport and storage.
The coating process is already in use in the USA. Retail programs for avocados coated with “Apeel” have shown a sales growth of 10 percent in the USA and an average waste reduction of 50 percent in the retail trade, explained Rogers in an interview with packaging-360.com. After the EU gave the green light for coating a few months ago, it has also been a topic in the retail sector in Germany. The Rewe Group was the first retailer in Germany to declare that it still wants to determine the efficiency of this process and is cooperating with the British manufacturer AgriCoat NatureSeal in the test phase.