Israeli company Sufresca has developed edible coatings that eliminate fresh produce plastic packaging entirely and reduce food loss and waste. The tailor-made edible formulations arrive with easily implemented application techniques and maintain appearance and taste “as if just harvested,” the company touts. This innovation comes as the packaging industry is toying with ideas of packaging-free solutions to the F&B industry.
“Our mission is to set new market standards for fresh produce handling, where cost-effective, eco-friendly and green coating solutions are available for all fruit and vegetable, and later on for all food commodities, for which plastic is currently used to extend shelf-life,” Efrat Boker Ferri, CEO of Sufresca, tells PackagingInsights.
Sufresca is currently working on expanding its operation to include all food perishables. Tested solutions have already been found for peppers and garlic, but finalized products for tomatoes and cucumbers are still in progress.
The edible coatings can be stored at ambient temperatures, do not require dilution and extend shelf-life up to six months. The coatings are made of water, glazing agents, emulsifiers, stabilizers and acidity regulators. “All ingredients used in our coatings are recognized by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as food additives (E Number) and by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS),” Boker Ferri explains.
Sufresca’s technology can provide non-toxic, biodegradable coatings that are less than 0.1 mm thick and are invisible, unnoticeable, odorless and tasteless. Coating thickness depends on the application technique, considering the physical structure and roughness of the fruit or vegetable surface as well as the chemical wetting and better adherence to the cuticle of the coated commodity, she continued.