Summer is strawberry season and while I love them, every time I buy strawberries I have to eat them as soon as I get home or risk throwing out more than half of the bunch. Unfortunately for all of us, strawberries just don’t have much of a shelf life.
Luckily, scientists from the University San Nicolás de los Garza in Mexico have created an edible coating for strawberries that will preserve them and help them last longer. This new Edible Active Coating (EAC) is made from pectin, a soluble fibre that’s already present in ripe fruits and is used as a setting in jams and jellies; chitosan, an antifungal compound derived from crustacean shells; pullulan for extracellular support; and sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate. It also won’t affect the taste of the fruit.
This EAC was created not just for consumers; this coating will also help strawberry harvesters and farmers. Transporting the fruit requires special care since they’re so soft and easily bruised. Shipping containers have the correct temperature to preserve strawberries, but can’t stop them from hitting the floors, walls, and ceilings of the transport vehicle.
The scientists tested the EAC and found that it improved the colour, flavour, and texture of the strawberries and found that they remained firmer, lost less weight, retained their peak colour longer, and had a shelf life of 15 days compared to the standard 6 days.
You can read more about the results and findings in the Journal of Food Science.
Featured image source: Windsor Eats
Story source: GizMag