A new product in development by an Israeli company located in China promises to increase the shelf life of fruits and vegetables up to three times without any synthetic chemicals.
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The Food Protector, made by Phresh Organics, uses natural essential oils to protect produce from the bacteria and fungi that cause spoilage. The company, which is trying to finance production through the Kickstarter crowdfunding website, is based on research conducted by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the University of Florida. It uses a microencapsulated powder made of essential oil extracts derived from natural sources like oregano, mustard, mint and other plants.
According to the developers, among them Amit Gal-Or and Prof. Arie Markus (who was also involved in starting up BotanoCap, which produced natural insecticides), all the materials in the powder are aimed at retarding the activity of specific bacteria or fungi that accelerate the spoilage of many fruits and vegetables. The company promises to improve the shelf life of the typical Israeli salad fixings (cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and lemons) but it also protects eggplants, grapes, apples, potatoes, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables.
All the consumer needs to do is put a bag of this powder into one of the two small, specially designed powder holders – one shaped like a robot and another like an apple – and put the holder in the refrigerator drawer or bowl containing the produce. The powder slowly releases its active agents over time.
Each of the powder holders is equipped with an LED light that will warn when it’s time to replace the powder. Based on the company’s Kickstarter page, the holders and powder will retail at around $30.