There’s nothing worse than buying fresh produce and having it go bad before you’re ready to eat it. Enter Apeel, a 100 percent plant-derived spray that coats produce so it will last longer.
The innovative coating was developed by James Rogers, who was working on his Ph.D. in materials science at the University of California Santa Barbara. Rogers discovered that by using certain natural molecules, he could create a barrier or extra “peel” on produce to slow the rates of water loss and oxidation, the primary culprits of spoilage.
Apeel avocados are now available across the country in Kroger and its affiliate stores, including King Soopers. “When you pick up an Apeel-treated avocado, on first glance you can’t really see or smell that it’s any different from other avocados, but over time if you compare a coated one with an uncoated one, you will notice the latter will spoil faster,” says Jessica Vieira, Apeel’s director of sustainability, adding that Apeel produce lasts two to three times longer.
The company, Apeel Sciences, continues to refine its spray to work on more kinds of produce. According to Vieira, although the spray’s main ingredients are pretty consistent, the formulations are different for each type of fruit or vegetable. “We’ve proven that it’s effective on about three dozen types of produce, but it’s an extensive process to bring to market,” she says. Kroger Cincinnati has recently begun a pilot test of Apeel limes and asparagus.
“Kroger is excited to offer more customers Apeel avocados and introduce longer-lasting limes and asparagus, marking another milestone on our journey to achieving our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste vision,” says Frank Romero, Kroger’s vice president of produce. “Apeel’s innovative, food-based solution has proven to extend the life of perishable produce, reducing food waste in transport, in our retail stores and in our customers’ homes.”