Citrus heavyweight enters into exclusive licensing relationship with Apeel to improve quality and extend the shelf-life of its lemons

Limoneira has announced a new exclusive licensing relationship with Apeel Sciences that will see its lemons protected across the supply chain with Apeel’s coating technology.

This will make Limoneira Apeel’s first fully integrated lemon supplier in the US and as part of the partnership Limoneira will significantly expand the availability of Apeel-protected lemons domestically and internationally through Limoneira-affiliated packing facilities and through licensing management.

Apeel’s non-GMO, edible, plant-based coating maintains moisture for longer and reduces oxidation preventing spoilage throughout the supply chain. For lemons, this means they stay juicy and retain their bright, yellow colour for longer.

In product trials conducted by Limoneira, Apeel-protected lemons demonstrated a significant difference in quality compared to other coatings. Apeel-protected lemons exhibited reduced water loss, shrivel, and colour change or “bronzing”, including when tested in ambient conditions, according to a media release from the companies.

James Rogers, founder and chief executive of Apeel Sciences, said the trials validated that Apeel’s technology allows citrus to retain its quality for longer regardless of how they are stored or merchandised, which improves Limoneira’s strategic position for market opportunities with retail and food service customers demanding a more sustainable approach to providing the highest quality, freshest produce.

“Apeel’s technology brings with it a new set of opportunities for the category and Limoneira’s customers,” Rogers said.

“Growers working with Limoneira can expect access to new channels of distribution, Retailers can expect energy and cost savings during warehousing and distribution, and Consumers can expect an experience they need to see to believe.

“We are excited about the near-term, but also for the longer term as we are establishing a foundation for continuous incremental improvements driven by the collective efforts of our like-minded companies.”

Harold Edwards, president and chief executive of Limoneira, said partnering with Apeel would help the company maintain its reputation as a leader in the citrus category.

“We are excited to be working with Apeel to generate greater supply chain flexibility, maintain higher quality lemons, decrease costs, and reduce waste all to the benefit of our growers, customers, shoppers, and the environment,” Edwards said.

“Since 1893, Limoneira has been a leader in the ‘what’s next’ category and we see offering Apeel-protected lemons as a truly natural next step to continue delivering the world’s best lemons.”