A scientist is developing an egg-based coating for fruit and vegetables that he says “could help to improve access to fresh produce in food deserts”.
Scientist Muhammad Rahman has won an award from the National Science Foundation to develop a sustainable, low cost, egg-based coating to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
The project was launched to address food preservation as well as waste management challenges that the Rice University says could help improve access to fresh produce in food deserts, areas with poor access to healthy and affordable foods.
“The goal of this project is to develop an eco-friendly, biodegradable, protein-based nanocomposite coating that can be applied to the surface of variously shaped fruits and vegetables,” said Rahman, Assistant Research Professor in materials science and nanoengineering.
“The coating will extend shelf life by reducing produce spoilage, dehydration and microbial growth rates.”
Rahman explained that the award will allow him to progress from a lab to pilot-scale to create a protein-based coating that he thinks “could really be a game changer”.
“The broader hope for this project is to improve the food industry carbon footprint and sustainability,” explained Rahman.
“I strive to align my research with the challenges of this critical, historic moment that confronts us with the urgent need to address anthropogenic climate change and find real-world solutions for a more sustainable future.”