Asda is the first UK supermarket to try new invisible food-coating technology which prolongs shelf-life of fruit and reduces plastic waste.
The plant-derived, water-based coating is designed by California-based food technology company Apeel Sciences.
The coating provides an extra ‘peel’ that allows fruits and vegetables to remain fresh for a longer period of time.
Asda says the technology could potentially triple the shelf life of many types of fresh produce, thereby drastically reducing the amount of food waste ending up in landfills.
Asda will be the first supermarket in the UK to test the technology after the EU Commission approved of it in June.
It will test the solution on clementines in two of its stores- Chatham, Kent and Glasshoughton, Yorkshire.
“We’re always looking at how we can reduce food waste right the way through our supply chain and into our customers’ homes,” said Nasir Ahmed, Asda’s produce technical manager.
“Increasing shelf life means our customers can enjoy fresher produce for longer, so we’re really excited about the potential of Apeel and I’m delighted Asda is part of this trial,” he added.
Statistics suggest that more than 4 million tonnes of food is discarded each year in the UK. This means, an average household throws away an entire day’s worth of food in just one week.
Gordon Robertson, CRO at Apeel Sciences, said: “As a true innovator and sustainability leader, Asda is our first UK retail partner to demonstrate its commitment to fighting the global food waste crisis, starting with Apeel mandarins that stay fresh much longer,”
“This commercial test will be the next step in validating Apeel’s ability to make an impact on reducing food waste in stores and for consumers, with the goal of Apeel produce arriving on shelves at more Asda stores and other retailers across Europe.”
If the trial succeeds, the Apeel solution could benefit in other ways such as decreasing the use of chemical pesticides and other post-harvest treatments to increase the shelf life of edible perishables.
The US has already applied the coating on apples, asparagus, limes and lemons in stores such as Costco, Kroger and Harps.
What else could be done to reduce food waste? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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