Asda is trialling a new coating in the UK that could triple the shelf life of many types of fresh produce and reduce the volume of food waste sent to landfill.
Supermarkets are on a mission to find new ways to reduce the amount of plastic waste they produce, from banning plastic bags and introducing plastic-free fruit and vegetable aisles and removing plastic bags from fruits and veggies to launching packaging-free aisles encouraging customers to bring their own reusable alternatives.
Keen not only to reduce the amount of plastic packaging used but to also reduce the amount of fresh produce that ends up in landfill, Asda is trialling a new technology that slows down the rate at which fruits and vegetables spoil to keep them fresher for longer.
As a nation, we discard over 4 million tonnes of good food each year in the UK. This equates to just over 80 million wheelie bins worth, with the average household throwing away an entire day’s worth of food in just one week.
The new technology from Apeel Sciences, which is being trialled for the first time in the UK after being granted approval by the EU Commission in June, is a plant-derived, water-based coating that produces extra ‘peel’ around fruits and vegetables in order to reduce the rate that fresh produce spoils.
According to Asda, the technology may have the ability to triple the shelf life of many types of fresh produce which could drastically reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfill each year.
Speaking to The Grocer, produce technical manager at Asda, Nasir Ahmed, said: “We’re always looking at how we can reduce food waste right the way through our supply chain and into our customers’ homes.
“Increasing shelf life means our customers can enjoy fresher produce for longer, so we’re really excited about the potential of Apeel and I’m delighted Asda is part of this trial.”
Asda will be trailing the new coating in its Chatham store in Kent and its Glasshoughton store Yorkshire on a shipment of Asda clementines.