Tesco is trialling a new kind of packaging for fruit and veg it claims will save the fresh produce industry tens of millions of pounds year.

The retailer will add a strip containing a mixture of minerals and clays to packs of tomatoes and avocados from next week.  The strip, supplied by It’s Fresh!, removes ethylene, a cause of spoilage, from packs.

According to Tesco salad and avocado technologist Steve Deeble, the packaging represented a major breakthrough in the fight against food waste. It could save the fresh produce industry tens of millions of pounds each year, he said.

“It will also mean shoppers will be able to keep fruit and vegetables for longer without feeling pressurised to eat them within days of buying them,” Deeble added.

Tesco estimates the technology could save 1.6 million packs of tomatoes and 350,000 packs of avocados from being wasted.

If the trial is deemed a success, the supermarket will begin to roll out the packaging to other lines by Easter.