The Apeel company presents new study results showing the potential of its technological innovation for extended food freshness and the resulting savings. The EDEKA Group (EDEKA and Netto Marken-Discount) has been implementing the innovative Apeel process in its fruit and vegetable departments as the first supermarkets in Germany.
Scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Freising, have investigated and evaluated the effectiveness of the plant-based Apeel protection on the shelf life of food products over a longer period of time. The results provide validated data on the ability of the Apeel process to preserve the external and internal quality characteristics of products. In this context, firmness and appearance are important purchase and consumption criteria for consumers. The study confirms: Apeel has a positive effect on the shelf life of fruits available at EDEKA and Netto stores, such as avocados, tangerines, and oranges.
A summary of the results:
– At EDEKA, avocados reach the retailer and thus the consumer at the stage of optimum ripeness for consumption. This optimum ripeness usually lasts for about three to four days, after which the fruit starts to spoil more quickly. Under the test conditions, however, the pre-ripened avocados protected with Apeel remained in this stage for almost three days longer on average than the uncoated fruits. Avocados with Apeel also showed less spoilage on the inside and outside of the fruit during storage compared to uncoated avocados under the same conditions.
– Tangerineswith Apeel protection showed an increase in shelf life of seven days compared to conventionally waxed fruit and when measured against the defined quality attributes. Tangerines with Apeel remain firm longer and dry out significantly less than conventionally waxed mandarins.
– Oranges with Apeel protection lasted an average of 4.2 days longer (firm and without spoilage) than conventionally waxed oranges under the test conditions applied.
“By using solutions created by nature, for nature, and working with our food supply chain partners around the world, we can ensure that people everywhere have great experiences with their fresh produce, while increasing the sustainability of the global food system,” said James Rogers, CEO and co-founder of Apeel. “At EDEKA Group, we stand for food appreciation. Our partner Apeel has developed a unique plant-based protection that extends the freshness and shelf life of produce. This enables our customers to enjoy food for longer and save money at the same time,” explains Markus Mosa, CEO of EDEKA ZENTRALE Stiftung & Co. KG, Hamburg.
In collaboration with the market research company Hall & Partner, Apeel also took a closer look at consumer behavior regarding throwing away food. This study examined and quantified food waste from tangerines and oranges in 193 households in four German metropolitan areas (Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich). During the four-week study, participants recorded their consumption and experiences and completed weekly tasks. One important finding was that consumers behave very differently with respect to tangerines and oranges. Tangerines are more physiologically fragile, are more easily discarded as whole fruit, and rarely have a second use (for example, in baking), resulting in higher amounts of waste. And in this study, the benefits of Apeel were also confirmed, as the rate of discarding was a quarter lower for tangerines with an Apeel protective layer.
The additional protective layer with Apeel is both odorless and tasteless. Currently, however, Apeel freshness protection is only approved in Europe for products the peel of which is not consumed.