More Fruits in a Protective Coating

Edeka is adding two more fruits to its Apeel range: Grapefruits and lemons now also receive the plant-based protective coating. The Apeel process is already used for avocados, oranges, clementines and tangerines.

It extends the shelf life of fresh fruit and vegetables and helps reduce food waste in Edeka’s product range: the Apeel protective coating. A pilot trial in 2,900 Edeka stores and Netto outlets got the ball rolling in 2020. The amount of avocados that had to be sorted out was reduced by 50 percent thanks to the Apeel protective coating. At the same time, customer demand in the participating stores increased significantly. So it’s no wonder that Edeka is now expanding the Apeel range once again. At the start of 2021, grapefruits and lemons will also receive the plant-based Apeel protective coating, following avocados, oranges, clementines and tangerines.

Apeel is an innovative protective process developed by a U.S. company of the same name. It uses vegetable fats contained in the peels, seeds and pulp of all fruits and vegetables. Accordingly, the Apeel protective layer consists of components that are also regularly consumed as part of a normal diet, as Edeka emphasizes. This makes Apeel fundamentally different from approaches in which a synthetically produced sugar derivative is applied.

A second skin

The Apeel formulation of plant origin gives the surface of fresh products a kind of second skin that acts like an additional protective coating. The Apeel protective layer ensures that less water evaporates from the inside through the actual shell and at the same time less oxygen can penetrate from the outside. A special microclimate is created under the second skin: the fruit can continue to “breathe” while the ripening process is greatly slowed down. This keeps Apeel products fresh for longer and significantly extends their shelf life – while maintaining the same high quality.

The process also saves Edeka plastic packaging during transport and in stores. The Edeka-Verbund and Apeel are now working together to bring more fruit and vegetable varieties with Apeel to market in Germany.

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