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Hebrew U start-up develops coating for fruits and vegetables to reduce food and plastic waste

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 23rd, 2021

A start-up from Hebrew University of Jerusalem aims to combat food waste and plastic waste using a novel water-based solution that protects produce during shipping.

Sufresca has developed an edible, biodegradable emulsion composed of wholly natural food ingredients. When applied to a fresh fruit or vegetable, the emulsion creates a breathable coating that slows down the processes of maturation, ripening, and eventual degradation and decay.

According to Sufresca CSO Amos Nussinovitch, the start-up wanted to create a formula that could be applied to a broad spectrum of produce.

“Each vegetable has its own unique traits,” says Nussinovitch, a professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “In our search for the common denominator that connects the plant kingdom, these physiological distinctions had to be addressed.”

The start-up says its technology can extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables by up to several weeks, reducing the amount of plastic packaging and extending shipment time.

“Retailers and packaging houses are seeking cost-effective solutions to reduce waste and are kind to the planet,” says Sufresca CEO Efrat Boker-Ferri. “Our natural formula can be easily integrated into existing industry equipment, is adaptable to the various coating techniques and is completely safe to use. While we do offer a range of support services and guidance, our system is very straightforward to implement, eliminating the need for Sufresca personnel to be on site, increasing its affordability.”

The start-up recently raised $3.5 million in a seed investment round led by Israel’s OurCrowd VC, with participation from FEAT Investments and other investors.

Source: Israel Hayom

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