Eating all your avocados at peak ripeness before they spoil is a feat that takes some serious planning. If you slice them too early, you have a hard, inedible center, but if you’re too late, you have a mushy, brown avocado that heads straight to the trash can. But Apeel Sciences, a California-based startup company that counts Bill Gates among its investors, says it has developed a way to keep avocados, and other produce, ripe and delicious for twice as long.
The gif below, courtesy of CBS This Morning, shows how strawberries treated with the new product stand up to strawberries left untreated.
Apeel uses food waste and other plant material to create a coating on produce that delays the aging process. The coating mimics the natural peel or skin that already protects the produce, and can replace the wax that grocery stores currently use.
Aside from saving consumers from fruit and veggie struggles at home, the product will potentially give retailers worldwide an opportunity to cut down on the amount of produce they throw out. An estimated $200 billion worth of food ends up in the landfill every year in the U.S. — about $18 of that is lost revenue for grocery stores and retailers.
Apeel also hopes its product can be used to help end hunger in areas of the world where climate and refrigeration limitations makes storing certain fresh foods impractical.
The product works by mixing the light, powdery substance with water and washing fruits and vegetables in it. The company’s website says the coating maintains moisture and reduces oxidation, which dramatically slows down its rate of spoiling. Apeel Sciences says the product is colorless, odorless, and tasteless when applied to produce, so it won’t interfere with your food. It’s already been approved organic by the FDA.
Bloomberg reports that Apeel made a “deliberate decision” to use avocados as their initial fruit because it’s highly-favored by millennials. Apeel-treated avocados will debut in about 100 grocery stores in the Midwest including about 30 Costcos, so keep your eyes “Apeeled.”
ALSO TRY: The science behind “hangry.“