An innovative food spoilage solution brought to market in the United States by Apeel Sciences will now be available in Europe thanks to a new partnership. While spoilage can occur with many fresh fruits and vegetables, it is especially challenging to detect when thick-skinned produce, such as avocados, go bad. Not only is this disappointing as a consumer, but globally, at least one-third of all food is wasted before it can reach peoples’ plates.
Apeel Sciences, known for their plant-derived food waste prevention technology, is teaming up with Netherlands based Nature’s Pride to bring Apeel Avocados to European households. The Apeel Avocado has twice the usual shelf life thanks to a coating that is applied after harvesting. This unique plant-based coating slows water loss and oxidation—the factors that cause spoilage. “It is really encouraging that we can use plant-derived technology to prevent food waste before it happens,” says Michelle Masek, Head of Marketing for Apeel Sciences, to Food Tank. In their U.S. rollout, Apeel Sciences saw a 50 percent reduction in food waste at the retail level in the avocado category, and they hope to see the same success in Europe. “We know preventing food waste is good for the planet but it turns out it’s actually really good business too,” adds Masek.
Nature’s Pride is a leader in distributing avocados and mangoes in the European Union and a committed partner in sustainability. This partnership will work to provide access points to growers in the region and bring Apeel avocados to European households for the first time in an effort to improve sustainability and reduce food spoilage.
Extending the shelf life of fresh produce can not only help tackle the problem of spoilage but may also help uphold nutritional value. Apeel is exploring ways to better understand how altered harvesting may potentially preserve the nutrient content of produce. Masek emphasizes to Food Tank that “in relaxing the perishability of fresh food by looking at what nature’s already doing, we have an opportunity to feed more people without requiring more input, which is really what we need to be thinking about if we’re going to sustainably feed the future.”
With the help of Nature’s Pride, Apeel avocados are expected to appear in select markets across Europe mid-2019.