Royal Gala apples

Startchy has launched an organic coating for apples that it claims to be the first washable coating to be developed for the US produce industry.

Yumbrella is USDA, Canada and EU certified organic and made with common food ingredients.

After several years of research and development, Yumbrella has completedcommercial testing overrecent monthswith Domex Superfresh Growersand various national retailers in advance of their market roll out.

It is also being tested on a range of other products, including avocados and citrus.

Andy Tudor of AT Ag Consulting and consultant/director of business development for Yumbrella said: “The produce industry has no shortage of fruit and vegetable coatings, but it has long been lacking an affordable and customisable organic solution.

“Most importantly this product meets the needs of everyone in the supply chain, including the grower, while still offering consumers a product that can easily be washed off with water, unlike wax or other coating chemicals that interfere with taste.”

Yumbrella is described by its developers as “an invention born out of necessity” which solves a high-tech problem with a low-tech solution. It was created as an affordable, easy-to-apply option for producers in the developing world.

It is made from common food ingredients, is inexpensive to license and requires no expensive equipment or application protocols.

Seth Shumate, CEO of Yumbrella commented: “This product has always offered unique market potential because it set out to put the grower first, with benefits outweighing its cost and the fact that it is a drop-in replacement for existing coating infrastructure.

“Coated fruit lasts longer at the packhouse, at retail, and at home which makes for a better eating experience.”

Yumbrella also offers adaptable recipes including a natural finish for organic application, and a high-gloss recipe for conventional apples which are traditionally coated with wax.

Robert Kershaw, CEO of Domex Superfresh Growers, said: “We’ve used and tested a variety of coatings over the years, but none that have started by saying how it helps growers reduce cost and warehouse loss.

“The Yumbrella team’s commitment to the entire supply chain – in addition to its global mission – actually makes this a more sustainable product for everyone involved and we are already seeing the bigger opportunity.”