Invisible food coating
When you live near a suitable market, getting fresh food is not difficult at all! Also, when you have a way to properly store the food, and you can consume it all before it goes bad there are no problems here. Everyone can relate to fresh food like lettuce, green onions, strawberries, and other fruits and vegetables are prone to going bad relatively quickly after being purchased. Though, making it unappealing to many consumers, not to mention the waste that results. The company Apeel Sciences may have a solution. It’s an invisible food coating! Their invisible, edible food coating can keep fruit and vegetables fresh for twice as long.
The same is true for other fresh foods like heads of lettuce, strawberries, and more. Apeel Sciences recently showcased an example of this -demonstrated in the video above- that lemon, for example, only started to show signs of aging after about fifty days whereas the non-treated lemon was quite shriveled and moldy by that point.
The micro layer works by trapping moisture inside the fruit and keeping air outside of it, reducing how much water the fruit loses while also slowing down oxidation. Even better, this layer is said to be completely flavorless and invisible and, obviously, fully edible. Based on Apeel Sciences’ website, it seems different formulas are used for various types of foods — the site shows a ‘tomato formula,’ for example, as well as formulas for blueberries, mangos, avocados, and bananas.
Second coating formula
Apeel has developed a second coating formula for when plants are growing. Its ‘Invisipeel’ barrier protects crops from pests such as funghi without the need for harmful pesticides. Funghi randomly blow on to different surfaces, and then they check for molecular recognition of that surface,’ Apeel CEO Dr James Rogers says.
‘And if they recognise that surface as being molecularly similar to what they’ve been evolved to see for the last million years, then they say, “Aha, this is food”.’ But with Invisipeel applied, fungus won’t recognise the produce as food, ensuring the plants are kept safe from the pests.
Advantages of invisible food coating
- Plant-based ‘Edipeel’ is designed to keep produce fresh for longer;
- The invention could help to tackle global food waste problems;
- It is made from uneaten food material such as orange peels, stems and leaves;
- These are blended into a fine powder coat that protects the food from rotting.
How does invisible food coating work?
- The powder layers the fruit with lipid membranes that are made up of many lipid molecules that align together;
- Each lipid is made up of a hydrophilic head, which means that it’s attracted to water, along with a hydrophobic tail, which repels water;
- This same layer is used to protect the cells of many biological species across the globe;
- The powder’s semi-permeable lipid membranes create a barrier that stops water from leaving the fruit, and oxygen from getting in.
Apeel claims that, using Edipeel, supermarket produce will last longer on the shelves, and consumers can buy food that lasts longer in their homes. Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – gets lost or wasted. In the US, around 40 per cent of food grown is wasted along various points in the produce chain.