Asda and Tesco are to begin employing new technology to double the shelf life of fresh fruit.
The move, which comes on the day Wrap announced a major industry drive to reduce packaging on fresh fruit & veg, will see both Asda and Tesco employ tech company Apeel Technology.
The company uses a covering ingredient found in the peels or skins of fruit such as avocados, limes and cucumbers to act as an extra barrier to the fruit’s own skin.
It works by sealing moisture in and keeping oxygen out so that quality and freshness can be maintained for longer.
Today Asda said it would roll out the technology to its citrus fruits and avocados in 150 stores, to increase shelf life and prevent food waste.
Meanwhile, Tesco said about 80 Tesco Extras and superstores around the Peterborough area would begin using Apeel-coated Jaffa oranges, sweet easy peelers and lemons to understand the effect the tech had on shelf life.
It will then be put through Tesco customer panels for feedback.
“We are always looking for ways to improve the shelf life of our products and make it easier for our customers to make more sustainable food choices whilst making their money go further,” said Asda senior director Dominic Edwards.
“We are excited to be working with Apeel – bringing the great work they’ve been doing globally to our UK customers. During this programme, we will be learning more about the benefits of longer-lasting produce for our customers, and we are looking forward to seeing what further developments this could lead to in the future.”
Tesco said it hoped Apeel could help reduce plastic packaging such as on cucumbers where shelf life is routinely prolonged by using plastic wrap, which would no longer be needed if Apeel was able to replicate the protective benefit of packaging.
Tesco group quality director Sarah Bradbury said: “Tackling food waste is one of the ways we’re working hard to minimise our environmental impact and help protect the planet. Apeel could be a powerful tool in helping us cut waste in our supply chain and help customers reduce it in their homes.”