Spray That Keeps Avocados Fresh Twice as Long Coming to European Market
Apeel is an edible protective layer that extends the fruit's ripeness—and it's already in some U.S. produce aisles.
Dozens of variations of the same avocado joke are scattered across the internet and on social media: Two pictures are side-by-side, and the first one is of a perfect ripe, green avocado at the supermarket, and the second shows it two minutes later, when it's become a pile of brown mush on your kitchen counter.
And it's funny because it's so freaking true. But Apeel Sciences, a California company that produces an edible spray-on fruit coating, has partnered with a supplier in Europe to ensure that avocados in Germany and Denmark will stay fresher, longer.
Apeel-covered avocados spoil slower and require less refrigeration, and the plant-derived peel doesn't use plastic or preservatives either. According to the company's website, that thin layer slows down water loss and oxidation, which can help keep those avocados from, well, looking like that gross brown second picture. The company previously told The Guardian that its coating has the potential to double an avocado's shelf life, keeping it ripe for 4-6 days instead of 2-3.
"Every day we work together in the entire chain to create innovative solutions that will make the world healthier and more sustainable. Apeel allows us to significantly reduce food waste," Adriëlle Dankier, the chief commercial officer of Apeel's avocado supply partner, Nature's Pride, said in a statement. "So we are extremely proud that the result of our intensive cooperation has now reached the shelves. We look forward to reaching more consumers in Europe with our products with Apeel."
The Apeel-ed avocados will be available at Edeka and Netto stores in Germany, and Føtex and Bilka in Denmark. The company also expects the fruit to be on shelves at Asda in the United Kingdom early next year. Edipeel has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States, although its release here seems to have been a quiet one. According to a spokesperson for the company, Appeal avocados can be found in "Kroger [stores from] coast to coast, Whole Foods Markets, and other retailers." (And if that's not specific enough, the company does have a store locator on its website.)
The company believes its protective coating can be used to keep two-dozen other fruits and vegetables fresh, including lemons, asparagus, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, and bell peppers. But—for now—Apeel-enhanced avocados are what you'll find in supermarkets.
"Everyone has an experience of cutting into an avocado and discovering it’s past its prime," James Rogers, Apeel's founder and CEO, said in 2018. "It’s a visceral reaction when you’ve spent a few dollars on something that ends up in the garbage."
And it's never a good feeling when your kitchen counter looks like a jokey internet meme either.