James Rogers – a materials science doctoral student at the University of California in the US – has created an organic preservative to extend the lifecycle of fresh strawberries.
Rogers extracts molecules from fruit produce that can’t be sold and puts them into a water-based solution. The next batch of produce is then sprayed or dunked in the solution. As it dries, it coats the fruit with an ultra-thin barrier, which prevents oxygen from getting in – slowing the ripening process. Rogers and his team are creating different formulations of the spray to accommodate leafy greens and different fruits and vegetables.
Rogers says: “Because we’re drawing from molecules that exist within produce itself, this is a low-cost process that could also have enormous applications in the developing world. I’d really like to see the business go into the humanitarian realm.”
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