Avocados are the frequent subject of teasing over their ever-so-brief period of ripeness—but one California company is looking to change that. Avocados treated by Apeel Sciences will be sold in the US for the first time this week, and thanks to a tasteless and edible coating, those avocados will stay fresh twice as long as a typical avocado. "The average avocado might be ripe for 2-3 days. Ours will stay ripe for 4-6 days," says the company's CEO, per the Guardian. The edible barrier, made from plant materials, creates a "microclimate," controlling the rate at which water leaves the avocado's surface and oxygen enters—the two main things that make produce go bad.
Apeel's CEO says it started with avocados because "everyone has an experience of cutting into an avocado and discovering it’s past its prime. It’s a visceral reaction when you’ve spent a few dollars on something that ends up in the garbage." But many other types of produce can be treated with the coating, and Apeel hopes to ultimately help reduce the 400 pounds of food per person estimated to be thrown away in the US per year. Apeel-treated avocados are first rolling out in Costco and Harp Foods stores in the midwest, but will eventually be available across the US. They will cost the same as any other conventionally grown avocado. Business Insider has side-by-side comparison photos of an untreated versus a treated avocado 30 days after harvest. (Read more avocado stories.)