Avocados with a special coating that makes them last longer have been introduced to supermarkets in Germany and Denmark, following approval by the European Commission (EC).
Supermarkets Edeka and Netto in Germany and Salling Group stores Føtex and Bilka in Denmark have started selling avocados this week which are treated to increase their natural shelf life and reduce food waste.
US-based firm Apeel Sciences has worked with produce supplier Nature’s Pride to bring the treated avocados to the EU market.
The EC authorised the ingredients of Apeel’s plant-based coating, which manages how quickly water escapes from the fruit and oxygen is absorbed. This allows the avocados to stay ripe for four to six days, said Apeel Sciences.
James Rogers, CEO and founder at Apeel Sciences, said: “Approval of Apeel's technology in Europe demonstrates the European Commission's commitment to addressing our planet's massive food waste crisis, which is now understood to be a top contributor to climate change.
“Our next critical step is assisting retailers across Europe in their efforts to reduce waste, while simultaneously improving profits and enabling customers to enjoy fresh, high quality produce with a longer shelf life and ripe time."
Rogers said that the introduction of Apeel-treated produce in the US has allowed many retailers to reduce food waste by 50% on average.
Stephan Bruhn, director at the Salling Group, which has introduced the product to Denmark, said: “Food waste is a major challenge that puts a strain on the environment. This is why this is a high-priority area in Salling Group and we are investing in solutions and initiatives to ensure that we reach our goal: a 50% reduction in food waste leading up to 2030.”
In September, UK retailer Asda trialled the Apeel coating on clementines and cucumbers to cut food waste and plastic packaging.