After post-harvest washing and processing, fresh fruits and produce suffer from poor shelf-life due to microbial spoilage and processing damages. To retard spoilage, coatings have been developed, allowing the produce to survive its journey through the value chain to the market.
Conventionally, such coatings are made of natural and/or synthetic materials (e.g. mineral oils, carnauba, sucrose ester coatings) that have been tested to be food safe. However, some of these materials are formulated with compounds from non-food sources, some require harsh processes (e.g. heat) for their application which not all fruits and vegetables can withstand, and some affect the flavour and smell of the coated products. Moreover, they are often difficult to be removed from the fruit surface, so they must be peeled before consumption.
A company has developed a spray on coating technology that uses functional compounds derived from produce (fruits, vegetables etc.), and produce by-products. The coating is bio-based, edible, has anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties and acts as an ethylene barrier to extend the produce’s shelf-life without affecting its flavour and scent. The coatings can also be used on non-produce food products.
The company is seeking for partners who are keen to develop customised coating solutions for food products.
The technology consists of a coating platform technology that can be customised and formulated according to the application.
As the technology is 100% derived from food by-products, it too may improve the sustainability aspect of the coated end-product.
In general, the developed coating has the following features:
Potential applications may include:
The global market of edible films and coatings is now ranging around 2,2 billion USD and is expecting a strong increase, with a CAGR of 8,34%. At the moment, there is strong demand from consolidated food firms to improve their products, especially on the topics of shelf-life and clean label ingredients, therefore the market for this kind of products is a high-potential one.