Over the last century, companies around the world have devoted science to improving fruit quality through controlled permeability coatings. Improving appearance, reducing water loss and maintaining shelf life were the main concerns of the market. Since then, aesthetic concerns have become secondary.
"The design of coating products is regulated by a well-defined list of permitted ingredients in the European Union and other countries. Xeda International has used this list to take advantage of the essential ingredients for the development of a coating that takes into account the different metabolisms of the fruit", explains Alberto Sardo, president of XEDA INTERNATIONAL.
Each fruit has its own preservation evolution
Apples, peaches, oranges, avocados and pears: each fruit has a different shelf life. "We observed that substances that maintain the firmness of the fruit over time act as a barrier to weight loss in the fruit. The job of coating waxes is to find the perfect match between the different combinations of substances, the formulation used to produce the coating and the uniformity of the coating. In general, natural and synthetic wax coatings are very impermeable to water and very permeable to O2 and CO2, while coatings with a high resin content have a low gas permeability. The consequence is obvious: apples with a low metabolism can accept a wax with a high resin concentration. This contrasts with oranges and pears, where there is a risk of suffocation and hence alcoholic fermentation. The fruit can then have a bad taste, leading to its destruction".
A global challenge: reducing food waste
To protect fruit and reduce food waste, it is important to take into account not only the metabolism of the fruit, but also the growing context, variety, storage, maturity and climate. "Xeda International, like other responsible companies, uses the complexity of science to serve a cause that goes beyond market economics: to help reduce food waste and thus contribute to the nutrition of a growing population. Coating products are often combined with treatments that can eliminate losses of fungal, bacterial or physiological origin. These combinations can be applied separately or mixed directly with the coating products".