Edible Silk Coatings Keep Fruits Fresh

I feels like I am always starting a diet.  Every now and then, I feel a sudden urge to go on a diet.  There is a “how to get ripped” saying that says, “a six pack is made in the kitchen” and I couldn’t agree more.  I’m always buying huge quantities of fruits and vegetables only to eat a few and throw the vast majority away.  Every time I find myself throwing away these fruits, I always think of Ecology Domain.  I always end up saying to myself “how can you waste so much precious food!?”  Ultimately, I get a bit sadder.  I eat more when I’m sad.  Therefore, my diet is never ending.  Well, researchers may have solved my problem!  In a recent development, scientists have been able to apply all natural edible silk coatings on fruits to help them stay fresh longer!

Edible silk coatings keep fruits fresh longer than plastic

Scientists have developed a new edible silk coating that can be applied to perishable foods from fibroin, the insoluble protein that makes silk tough.  Ideally, this coating would be sprayed onto fruits before leaving the farm for distribution.  When scientists first discovered this coating, they applied various coatings of different thickness to test the effectiveness of this coating.  The thickest layer of coating applied was only 35 microns thick (still invisible to the naked eye).  This means that as consumers, we will not be able to see a coating of some type on the fruits at all!  The coated fruits were kept at 22 degrees Celsius (which is room temperature) alongside control fruits for 7 days.  At the end of the experiment, the fruits with the thickest coatings stayed plump and fresh, whereas the control fruits were discolored and soft.

edible silk coating after 7 days

edible silk coating after 7 days  Photo Credit:  Nature

Further testing has shown that this edible silk coating actually slows down the respiration of fruits.  Essentially, the coating makes the fruits less permeable to carbon dioxide and oxygen which will slow down if not prevent decay.  To further test the coating, bananas were used and compared to control bananas after 9 days.  After 9 days, they tested the firmness of the fruits and the freshness.  As you can see in the image below, the results were extraordinary.

silk coated banana

silk coated banana      Photo Credit:  Nature

In a world that is headed towards a future that has more plastic in the oceans than fish, this bit of development that can potentially replace some plastics is a nice breath of fresh air.  Personally, I wouldn’t mind fruit that comes with edible silk coatings.  They are apparently all natural, edible, and invisible to the naked eye.  As long as the taste is unaffected, I will personally not even bat an eye.  Eventually, this can replace the way how fruits are preserved during distribution.  The best case scenario is if change is already occurring (towards less plastic use)!