Apeel-protected fruits roll out in Asda to extend shelf-life: ‘It works by sealing moisture in and keeping oxygen out’

By Flora Southey contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Apeel Sciences, shelf life

US start-up Apeel Sciences has landed its first big retailer contract in the UK with Asda, which will see fruit protected by Apeel’s edible layer sold across 150 stores.

The partnership sees mandarins and oranges from AM FRESH Group and Albenfruit, and avocados from Nature’s Pride and Worldwide Fruit, protected by Apeel’s tech for sale in Asda stores across the country.

Described as a ‘significant new programme’, the deal marks the first time Apeel’s technology will be applied at this scale within the UK.

How does Apeel’s tech work?

Apeel’s technology works by keeping moisture inside the produce and oxygen out. This, the company says, ‘dramatically’ slows the rate that produce spoils.

The protective layer has been likened to an ‘invisible skin’, which is made from plant-derived materials – notably lipids and gylcerolipids – that exist in the peels, seeds, and pulp of fruits and vegetables.

Made from food grade ingredients, Apeel’s colourless, odourless, and tasteless technology is safe to eat. It is prepared as a powder and diluted with water prior to application. “Due to the versatility of Apeel, the product may be applied via a variety of approaches, including spray, dip, or brush on methods,” ​noted the start-up.

Extended shelf life

All of this results in extended shelf life for fruits protected by Apeel’s technology.

When comparing Apeel-protected mandarins to waxed mandarins, for example, Apeel mandarins lasted an average of seven days longer, according to the start-up.

Further, Apeel mandarins were half as likely to be severely desiccated and maintained their firmness longer, indicating a fresher in-home eating experience.

When comparing Apeel-protected avocados to untreated avocados, Apeel avocados presented with extended quality and firmness by an average of 2.8 days. The Apeel-protected avocado group had 36% better ‘good external quality’ and 23% more ‘good internal quality’ 16 days after ripening, which the company says indicates a better experience at-shelf and at-home.

Asda welcomes partnership

Asda, who welcomed the partnership, said it is always on the hunt for new ways to improve the shelf-life of its products.

“We are really excited to be working with Apeel – bringing the great work they’ve been doing globally to our UK customers,” ​said Asda senior director Dominic Edwards.

“During this programme, we will be learning more about the benefits of longer-lasting produce for our customers, and we are looking forward to seeing what further developments this could lead to in the future.”

Image and video supplied by Apeel.

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