“Magical” stickers keep fruit fresh for two weeks

Stixfresh is aiming to combat food waste through a new sticker which it claims can keep fruit fresh for up to 14 days longer.

The sticker’s materials include ionised sodium chloride and beeswax, which remove the homone ethylene to delay ripening. The stickers have a GRAS (generally recognised as safe) status in accordance with the US Food and Drug Administration.

Compounds within the formulation work together to create a protective layer around the fruit. Stixfresh studies conducted through collaborations with industry experts have shown that by slowing down the ripening process, the stickers can extend the freshness of a wide variety of fruits by up to 50%.

Currently the stickers are used on apples, pears, avocados, dragon fruits, mangoes, kiwis and citrus fruits, but the company is looking to expand the range to vegetables and smaller fruits with soft skins such as plums and berries.

“We’re not creating a new step in the process, we’re replacing it with a better product,” says Moody Soliman, co-founder of Stixfresh, which is based in Seattle, US.

“In the US alone, from farm to fridge, 52% of fresh fruits and vegetables go to waste. Globally, that’s an annual loss in the tens of billions of dollars. According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, the average US household loses $1,800 annually to food waste.”

The idea behind Stixfresh was originally developed by Malaysian inventor Zhafri Zainudin, and a chance encounter with Soliman at an industry conference in Dubai led to the partnership.

“We immediately saw the promise of Stixfresh at a global level,” said Soliman. “Because we were able to offer our technical background, expertise in product development and a shared vision to impact people’s lives and solve global challenges, it was a great fit.”

While the entrepreneurs see high potential demand for Stixfresh at the commercial level for large producers to prolong life during transportation and reduce waste, they also believe they can provide a solution to individual consumers and families who want to address their own household food waste.

“The beauty is in the simplicity,” said Soliman. “By just adding the sticker to fruit you can keep it farm fresh by up to two weeks and save money.”

In February, Stixfresh will launch a crowdfunding campaign to give consumers the first opportunity to test the product and join the brand in its mission to create the most effective solution possible.

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