Apeel is a plant-derived, water-based coating that gives produce an extra layer of ‘peel’ to slow the rate of spoilage.
This reduces food waste from farm to retail shelf to customers’ homes and could reduce the use of plastic packaging in the future.
Asda is trialling the solution in its Chatham and Glasshoughton stores on a shipment of its clementines, which have had the extra peel applied at the growers’ site in South America.
Gordon Robertson, chief revenue officer at Apeel Sciences, said: “This commercial test will be the next step in validating Apeel’s ability to make an impact on reducing food waste in stores and for consumers, with the goal of Apeel produce arriving on shelves at more Asda stores and other retailers across Europe.”
Asda has taken samples to test how it performs under a variety of different scenarios and conditions including if it’s not kept in the fridge at home or if the temperature in the store is warmer or cooler than usual.
Because the extra peel protects the fruit from spoilage for longer, there is a lower need for pesticides and other post-harvest treatments to be used which could reduce the amount of packaging needed.
Asda has been conducting tests on cucumbers which found shelf lives increasing even on cucumbers left unwrapped.
It is the first time that this technology has been tested in the UK after it was granted approval for use by the EU Commission in June.