Food waste is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and fruit and vegetables are particularly problematic. According to some estimates, we throw away a third of what is grown, but others come to assume that more than half of the crops never arrive on a table. The problem often is that fruits and vegetables turn bad before being consumed. A Malaysian company claims to have found a simple and effective solution to this problem: a small adhesive that would prolong the useful life of two-week fruit.
Stixfresh, the company name, has created a sticker that contains a special all-natural formula that would slow down the ripening process, keeping the fruit fresh and juicy for much longer. Stixfresh is made from 100% organic materials and contains a mixture of ionized sodium chloride and beeswax, which would help to slow down the bacterial activity in the fruit and thus to delay the ripening process. The company also insists that the adhesives are completely safe, so much so that they could also eaten.
Zhafri Zainudin, founder of Stixfresh, claims to have had the idea of adhesives four years ago, after visiting a friend who ran a fruit stand. The man complained about losing money every day because of bad fruit, but seemed resigned, because he thought there was no way to prevent nature from running its course.
The Malaysian businessman, however, had another idea. “He made me think. Perhaps nature can not be stopped, but can it be slowed down?”, Explains Zainudin on his company’s website.
The Malaysian entrepreneur did not improvise his solution. To develop it, he collaborated with Selangor University, Universiti Putra Malaysia, research institutes and agencies such as Mardi, Malaysia’s Standard and Industrial Research Institute, and more recently with Bogor University and University of South Australia. It took three years to make the production process perfect and effective. According to Stixfresh, adhesives would not only be able to slow down the ripening process, but also inhibit the development of molds on the fruit.
Originally, Stixfresh adhesives were designed only to extend the shelf life of the mangoes, but later the company realised that they also worked on other fruits of the same size and with a similar consistency, such as avocado, papaya, dragon fruit, fruit to star, apples and pears.
It must be said, however, that at the moment Stixfresh is not yet available on all markets, and is launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to industrialize the product. We will see at that point if the company will keep the interesting promises made so far.