Blasting Avocados with UV Rays May Prolong Shelf Life
At this point, society would grind to a halt if avocados weren’t readily available everywhere in the world at al times. But given the thousands of miles some avocados travel to reach the produce section in your local supermarket, there’s only a limited window of time before they go from ripe to rotten.
Luckily, UK-based fruit and vegetable wholesaler Greencell claims to have developed a high-tech process that can prolong the shelf life of everyone’s favorite stone fruit by up to two days. Each of their avocados travels through a beam of ultraviolet light, a process meant to prevent the growth of the bacteria spores that contribute to decay. Once that’s complete, Greencell wraps its avocados in a proprietary “modified atmosphere packaging” (MAP) which uses film with microscopic air holes, which slows down the ripening process.
The product of extensive R&D, Greencell hopes that its new tech will offer a way to improve its profit margins in the now-cutthroat world of avocado importing and sales. “We have recognised the importance of maintaining fruit quality while reducing potential spoilage and wastage for a number of years,” said a company statement quoted by the Daily Mail. “As such, we have been conducting a number of extensive trials on avocado… using different technologies in an effort to achieve this aim.”
The use of UV and MAP should help Greencell client supermarkets like Tesco and Waitrose sell their avocados more efficiently. “Frustratingly, once ripe, [avocados] can deteriorate fairly quickly,” said Tesco technical manager Mike Corbett, “this fantastic new packaging will help cut down on food waste by offering customers up to an extra two days of storage time.”
Presumably, blasting avocados with waves of light beyond the visible spectrum doesn’t augment the quality (or safety) of the creamy, fatty toast accoutrement. But given how harmful our uncontrollable avocado habit is for the environment, any packaging method that might prevent avocados from traveling halfway around the globe only to be thrown out is at least worth a shot.