Tesco to trial plant-based protection for fruit to extend shelf life & reduce waste

A plant-based protection that keeps fruit fresh for up to twice as long is being trialled by Tesco.

The product, called Apeel, is a plant-based protection used on fruits and vegetables to slow down their rate of spoilage, keeping fruits and vegetables fresher for longer. Apeel gives produce more time which helps fight food waste between the supplier and store and more importantly in the home.

As a nation, we throw away 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste a year and 400,000 tonnes of that is fruit. Every day, we throw away 720,000 whole oranges.

The trial will see approximately 80 Tesco Extras and Superstores around the Peterborough area stock Apeel-coated Jaffa Oranges, Jaffa Sweet Easy Peelers and Lemon Packs to understand the effect it has on shelf life. It will then be put through Tesco customer panels for feedback.

Apeel could also help reduce plastic packaging. Currently, the shelf life of cucumbers is extended by using plastic wrap. This will no longer be needed if Apeel is able to replicate the protective benefit of packaging.

Sarah Bradbury, Tesco Group Quality Director, said, “Tackling food waste is one of the ways we’re working hard to minimise our environmental impact and help protect the planet. Apeel could be a powerful tool in helping us cut waste in our supply chain and help customers reduce it in their homes.”