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Tesco to trial Apeel - plant-based protection for fruit to extend shelf life and reduce food 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.”

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About Apeel

Apeel is on a mission to create a more sustainable global food system by working with nature to use the power of materials and data sciences. Apeel’s plant-based protection allows for longer-lasting produce by using materials already found in the skins, peels, and seeds of all fruits and vegetables. This protective extra “peel” slows the water loss and oxidation that causes produce to spoil, and it’s the only proven solution for maintaining freshness from farm to kitchen. Apeel’s plant-based protection is available for an ever-growing number of categories and markets, including organic and conventionally grown produce. Additionally, Apeel is integrating new tools that will allow the food system to do more with the extra time created by Apeel’s plant-based protection. Farmers can sell more of what they grow, retailers can sell more of what they source, and people can enjoy more of what they buy, creating a healthier planet and greater abundance for all. Apeel is Food Gone Good.

Apeel is a trademark/registered trademark of Apeel Technology, Inc. in the United States, the European Union, and other jurisdictions. To learn more, visit apeel.com.


Food waste at Tesco

At Tesco we have no time for waste and it’s an issue we have been focused on for over a decade, some of our key commitments from this time are outlined below.
• In the UK we have sent no food waste to landfill since 2009
• In 2013 we became the first UK retailer to publish data for the waste in our own operations
• Stopped running any “Buy One, Get One Free” promotions on fruit and veg in April 2014
• We have made a straightforward commitment that where we have unsold food that is safe for human consumption – none of this should go to waste in our UK retail operations
• In 2016 we launched Community Food Connection in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare and social enterprise FoodCloud
• Since 2012 we have donated over 100m meals to thousands of local charities and community groups
• In 2018 we removed ‘Best Before’ dates from over 180 fruit and vegetable lines
• In 2019/20 we reached 77% towards our goal that no food safe for human consumption will go to waste in our UK operations
• In September 2020, Tesco announced they have worked in partnership with their suppliers to cut 200,000 tonnes of food waste from their combined operations

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