- 5:50 pm - Thu, Feb 16, 2012
- 65 notes
New product prolongs produce freshness, reducing food waste
A hormone-absorbing strip made of clay and other minerals is helping to reduce food waste in the UK.
The strip, which absorbs ethylene — the ripening hormone that turns food moldy — is already in use by retailer Marks & Spencer on packages of strawberries, and is being trialed by supermarket chain Tesco on tomatoes and avocados — “produce that triggers the highest wastage in the food industry.” Tesco estimates the strips could save 1.6 million packs of tomatoes and 350,000 packs of avocados annually.
For strawberries: “Trials carried out in M&S [Marks & Spencer] stores showed a minimum wastage saving of 4% — during the peak strawberry season this would equate to 40,000 packs, or about 800,000 strawberries.”
Both Tesco and Marks & Spencer say the addition of the strips will not increase the amounts that shoppers will be charged for the produce.
The 8 cm x 4.5 cm strip, developed in the UK by It’s Fresh Ltd, is said to be “100 times more effective than any similar existing materials.” Trials suggest the strips could help extend the shelf life of other food items.
Also noteworthy: The Guardian reports that the strip will not affect the recyclability of produce packaging.
(Via The Guardian: Tesco tomato and avocado story here, and Marks & Spencer strawberry story here. Photo via The Ewan on Flickr.)
See also: Earlier Unconsumption food waste-related mentions here.