New, longer-lasting avocados debuted at Costco this week. The avocado’s shelf life is increased by approximately 50 percent due to being treated with an invisible organic spray—applied prior to transport—made from discarded plant-based materials which regulate the entry of oxygen and the exit of moisture on the fruit’s surface. California-based Apeel Sciences—backed by a $40 million in funding, including an investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—developed the technology (which is functional for a number of fruit and vegetables) to reduce food waste and add nutritional value in the fresh produce sector. “Today’s produce is picked at less than optimal time, creating a quality that is poor, less than desirable nutritional standards, and lacking full potential,” Apeel CEO James Rogers told Foodnavigator-USA. “With Apeel, fruit can be picked later in the ripening process, thus raising quality nutrition, and taste, while reducing waste at the same time.” In addition to Costco, the Apeel-coated avocados are available at Midwestern chain Harps Food Stores and the company plans to partner with farms to drastically reduce food spoilage globally.
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