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Swiss. Lidl experiments with new sustainable fruit film

A cellulose coating to replace plastic and increase shelf life

Lidl experiments with new ways of sustainable packaging for fruit and vegetables. As reported by a federal government press release, the supermarket chain is developing a new cellulose film in Switzerland that could completely eliminate packaging for some types of fruit. Lidl turned to Empa - the Swiss federal laboratories of Science and Technology of Materials, to start a research project for a coating for fruit and vegetables. In the “ Cellulose & Wood Materials” laboratory of Empa, the researchers, in over a year of work, have thus succeeded in developing a special protective cellulose film that can be applied to fruit and vegetables. The results bode well, as the fruits and vegetables that have received this protective layer retain their freshness much longer. Tests have shown, for example, that bananas last a week longer. In this way, food waste is also significantly reduced. “The ultimate goal is that these coatings can replace petroleum-based packaging in the future”, comments Gustav Nyström, director of the research division.

After the preliminary study conducted from 2019 to mid-2021, the cellulose coating developed at Empa will be tested and refined over the next two years together with Lidl Switzerland and a fruit and vegetable supplier. The project is financially supported by the Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency (Innosuisse). The goal is to ensure that this new technology can be used, after successful completion of the main study, in all over 150 Lidl branches in Switzerland.

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EFA News - European Food Agency
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