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Apeel Fights Food Waste By Taking Guesswork Out Of Avocados

Apeel is making it much easier to know when to eat an avocado. Avocados are arguably one of the tougher fruits to predict the best time to cut open and use. Sometimes it’s far too firm or just right — and sometimes, a softer, blackened one is perfect, or other times it is already too ripe to eat. 

The company has invented a new sensor that cuts out the guesswork and tells you exactly when an avocado is ready to eat. It cuts food waste — a $218 billion problem worldwide — by helping stores properly label the fruit by ripen date.

Photo Courtesy Apeel  

Apeel’s technology not only gives a better answer to the question of an avocado’s readiness but also helps conserve water and avoid greenhouse gas emissions caused by food waste. 

A beam of light passes through the avocado’s skin, which reflects on the interior and calculates the best time to eat the fruit. This device can determine how many days before it should be consumed, a simple process that stores can use to separate the produce by ripeness, thus pointing shoppers in the right direction for their needs. 

Distributors higher up in the supply chain can also use the system to send the ripest avocados to the closest stores to ensure they are consumed and not wasted.

Apeel not only determines the fruit’s readiness but also offers a plant-based coating, keeping oxygen out and moisture in and maintaining a perfect level of ripeness for a longer time.

The company made this coating from all-natural ingredients, similar to its natural peel designed to keep it from rotting. By lengthening that time, the firm fights food waste

At the heart of the company is the idea that using the natural systems already at work in a fruit’s skin, seeds, or flesh offers a carbon-neutral, sustainable way to solve food waste by keeping food fresh is possible. Apeel can triple an item’s lifespan without using a single chemical.

Photo Courtesy Apeel  

Overall, the technology not only makes the avocado food chain more sustainable but also drives greater profits for sellers. Nearly 50% of shoppers said they would be more likely to buy the fruit if it stayed ripe longer.

“In the process of developing our shelf-life extension technologies, we’ve had to develop our own tools that allow us to measure produce quality and predict longevity,” James Rogers, Apeel founder and CEO, said to Fast Company.

 Photo Courtesy Apeel  

Rogers is hopeful that the avocado is just the beginning and that Apeel can modify the technology as needed for many other fruits and vegetables. “We think that this is the path to zero waste,” he added.

Check out the episode of the Consensus in Conversation podcast featuring Jenny Du of Apeel.

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