Innovation That Matters

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An invisible, edible film for reducing food waste


Cambridge Crops uses an edible, natural silk spray to create a barrier that extends foods' shelf life and freshness

Spotted: US-based startup Cambridge Crops has developed an invisible, edible film to preserve the shelf life of food. The company says the tasteless film could radically decrease food waste.

The film is thinner than a piece of human hair and is created by spraying a water-based solution made with silk molecules on food. It is not like the shiny sheen added to apples today, according to the company’s CEO Adam Behrens. The Cambridge Crops film is a natural substance that can double the shelf life of apples. It also works with other perishables, including flowers.

The film creates a barrier that slows down microbial growth. Food producers can spray it on products during the production and processing operations after they’re harvested. It has already been tested on everything from lettuce to meat, with good results, according to the company.

Cambridge Crops is currently piloting its film with producers. It received $1.3 million in pre-seed financing from MIT Engine, with participation from Closed Loop Ventures and Fink Family Foundation, and hopes to have FDA approval by 2020.



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