Apeel Sciences is offering a shelf life extending treatment for citrus. ( Courtesy Apeel Sciences )

(UPDATED, July 25) After a commercial rollout with avocados in June, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Apeel Sciences has introduced shelf-life extending Apeel products for conventional and organic citrus.

Following the launch of Apeel avocados at Costco stores in June, the company in late July said it was releasing the Apeel product formulated for citrus. Apeel said its first citrus partner is Temecula, Calif.-based Eco Farms, which also has shipped Apeel avocados.

“What we have seen so far is promising,” said Andy Hamilton, CEO of Eco Farms. Preliminary results indicate the treatment of organic citrus with Apeel could extend shelf life by one or two weeks.

“It definitely has the potential for changing the whole (organic citrus) category,” he said July 23.

James Rogers, CEO and founder of Apeel Sciences, said July 24 that Apeel has been able to validate there is a new tool in the organic toolbox for lemons.

The fact that Apeel preserves the water content at retail is valuable to both retailers who sell fruit by the pound and also to consumers, he said.

“The real exciting piece here is that you have Apeel (treated) lemon on the shelf, organic or otherwise, is actually worth more to you at, at retail, because it’s going to have more mass than its competitors,” he said. The treatment also preserves quality, he said. The company is working on plans for use of Apeel on commercial asparagus shipments in the near future, he said. 

According to the company, Apeel for Citrus:

  • Reduces the amount of water loss in citrus by up to 70%;
  • Reduces shrinkage by up to 70%;
  • Maintains internal and external quality; and
  • Gives new export/revenue opportunities for suppliers and retailers by giving fruit a longer shelf life.