From thin-skinned grapes to spiky pineapples, fruit peels vary in colors and textures. But what do peels do for the fruits they cover?
Let’s start at the very beginning: the seed. Flowering plants grow fruit, which contain the plants’ seeds. In order to reproduce, plants spread their seeds through wind, water, and hungry animals. So how does a plant get an animal’s attention? Some plants use fruit peels to seduce animals with bright colors or aromatic fragrances. Animals eat the fruit, travel away, poop out the seed, and a new plant is born.
Peels also act as a barrier to help protect the fruit from pests and pathogens. And they play a crucial role in respiration by balancing the gas and water exchange of the fruit with the environment.
The powerful properties of peels exist across the plant world. These are the inspiration behind Apeel’s plant-based protection. Using plant-derived lipids and glycerolipids from peels, seeds, and pulp, Apeel creates a little extra peel to protect other fruits and vegetables.
As this avocado time-lapse video shows, produce coated with this added layer of Apeel protection can last at least two times longer than untreated produce. Moisture stays inside and oxygen stays outside, thereby slowing down the rate of food spoilage. That means more food ends up on your plate and less goes into landfills.
According to the USDA, an estimated 30–40 percent of the US food supply goes to waste. That’s about 219 pounds of food waste per person annually. These losses can have far-reaching impacts on the land, water, labor, and energy used in the food production and supply chain. The EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other material in everyday trash, and these landfills are the third largest US source of human-related methane emissions.
By reducing food waste, the resources spent to grow that food can be conserved, and landfill emissions can be avoided. Selecting an Apeel-treated avocado can save up to 4 gallons of water and avoid up to 42 grams of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s equivalent to the energy-related greenhouse gas emissions from charging a smartphone five times! Apeel works with produce partners around the world to apply its plant based protection to a wide variety of produce types, which are now available in grocery stores.
In the end, peels are proof that nature knows how to protect itself. So Apeel is taking that lesson to heart — to fight food waste, support sustainability, and create abundance for all.