Shel-Life: How Natural Coating Can Reduce Food Waste

Waxy apples and lemons could become a thing of the past in our supermarkets as a new plant-based emulsion offers a sustainable solution to reducing food waste.

Shel-Life is a 100% plant-based coating from Chilean bio tech company PolyNatural, which aims to replace the chemical coatings we’re used to seeing — and tasting — on a host of our favorite fruits. The coating prevents fruits from dehydration and maintains their freshness for a longer period compared to untreated produce.

The vast majority of fruit coatings on the market consists of synthetic waxes that are made up of petroleum-derivatives. Now PolyNatural claims their plant-based coatings are healthier than most of their competitors, both for human consumption and for the planet.

Shel-Life forms a natural coating to the surface of fruits such as avocados, apples, pears, nectarines, plums, and citrus, and has organic certification according to OMRI and ECOCERT. Its natural solution to a longer shelf life could be a game-changer for Latin American farmers in the fight to reduce food waste sustainably.

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that postharvest losses can reach up to 20 percent for cereals, 30 percent for dairy and fish, and 40 percent for fruit and vegetables. According to PolyNatural, its Shel-Life natural coating has prevented 273.6 tons of fruit and vegetables from being wasted, and saved 157,041 m³ of water.

So far, its products have been tested in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, the United States, Spain, Germany, and Kenya, and used by packing companies in Chile and the US. The company now wants to improve the production facilities and grow its commercial offer. PolyNatural estimates the total market potential for Shel-Life in the US as US $20 million, and globally as US $12 billion.

Learn more about PolyNatural.

Shel-Life by PolyNatural

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