Lidl Switzerland has teamed up with the Swiss Federal Laboratories For Materials Science and Technology (Empa) to develop a cellulose protective coating to extend the shelf life of fresh fruit and vegetables. It is hoped that the novel coating, made from called pomace (squeezed fruit and vegetable peels) will both reduce packaging and prevent food waste.
During tests, the shelf-life of bananas was apparently extended by more than a week.
“The big goal is that such bio-coatings will be able to replace a lot of petroleum-based packaging in the future,” said Gustav Nyström, head of the Empa laboratory.
The process involves turning pomace into a fibrillated cellulose coating, which is either sprayed on fruit or applied as a dip and is easy to wash off.