World hunger has grown and so has food wastage. In order to eliminate this, a Bill Gates-backed startup has created new transparent, edible food coating that keeps food fresh.
The United Nations estimated that the world wastes 30% of all produced food, a total cost adding up to $2.6 trillion per year. For this, a Californian food technology startup called ‘Apeel Sciences’ has developed a thin, transparent, edible coating that can keep food fresh much longer than usual, reported CNBC.
The coating named ‘Apeel’ preserves food by preventing two primary causes of food spoilage. The coating acts as a physical barrier and blocks the water in the food from evaporating away. Apeel also blocks atmospheric oxygen from reacting with food.
The tasteless, odorless, edible coating can hence double the shelf life of picky foods such as avocados or oranges and prevent them from going bad without even refrigeration. As an achievement for the firm, Apeel-coated avocados have already started selling in various food and grocery stores.
Apeel is made up of fats and other compounds taken from fruits and vegetables. It was designed in accordance with ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ US Food and Drug Administration regulations that let the firm to avoid FDA’s normal approval process.
Moreover, Futurism wrote, the startup is also majorly funded by Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates’ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation donated a sizable portion of the $110 million that the firm has raised since its start in 2012.
Eventually, Apeel Sciences aim to make a different in fighting global hunger and is also working with countries where there is food scarcity such as Kenya and Nigeria. For now, Apeel coating is only sold on avocados, but the firm is also working to sell it on asparagus and different citrus fruits, since the coating formula differs for each fruit and vegetable.