New Avocado Coating Keeps Beloved Fruit from Spoiling Fast

Apeel claims its product can double the ripeness window of an avocado—and Costco is into it.

By Ethan L. Johns
June 21, 2018

Image: Apeel Sciences

Avocados are fickle fruits. We wait, wait, wait for them to reach perfect ripeness and then WHAM! Like a white pair of trousers at La Tomatina, they are ruined forever. Rest in pieces, poor avocado...

Apeel Sciences is one step closer to eradicating this problem for good, after it announced that U.S. retailers will be selling its hi-tech fruit coating—which it claims can double the ripeness window of an avocado—for the first time, beginning this week.

“We’re creating an optimised microclimate that can double the [fruit’s] shelf life,” CEO James Rogers told The Guardian. “The average avocado might be ripe for 2-3 days. Ours will stay ripe for 4-6 days.”

Costco and Harps Food Stores have signed on as the first to carry the fruit-enveloping technology, which has won the support of both the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as a whole host of venture capital funding.

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The company hopes that Apeel—its line of fruit and vegetable coatings—will help to reduce the amount of food wasted around the globe annually (about one-third of the food produced, or 1.3 billion metric tons, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization).

Apeel works by keeping external oxygen away from the surface of produce, and by keeping moisture locked in. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and made from plant-derived lipids (fats) that occur naturally in peels, seeds and pulps of fruit and vegetables.

Since Apeel is made from fruit, the company says, it is meant to be consumed and does not need to be washed off. They assert that it is “colorless, odorless and tasteless” when applied to produce.

While for now the technology is tailored for avocados, some tweaks to the formula is all the product will need to expand to other bins in the supermarket produce section.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns