The fruit-growing sector faces the challenge of reducing the use of single-use plastic packaging with the aim of reducing its environmental impact.

However, packaging is also functional and contributes to protection during transport and product shelf life during distribution from producer to consumer. This research focuses on how an edible coating can replace single-use plastic packaging and, after leaving the cold store, slow down the ripening process and extend the freshness of the fruit by at least 10 days, without interfering with the fruit in an undesirable way and preserving its quality and nutrients. The challenge here is that the material to be applied not only prevents dehydration but also controls the gas balance in the fruit.

The coating is based on seaweed and additives obtained from residues derived from agri-food and aquaculture residues. Through experimental design, the effect of applying the coating to various apple varieties with regard to the ripening process, shelf life and quality criteria, such as water content, ethylene production, nutritional value and mould/bacteria development, is being investigated.

This project explores a new commercial processing of seaweed, which has the potential to contribute to the reduction of plastic waste, food waste and CO2 emissions.

Research group

Marine Biobased Specialities

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