Approximately one-third of all food produced in the world is wasted every year. When the COVID-19 pandemic happened, it disrupted food supply networks, causing fruit and vegetables to rot since they cannot reach the market on time.

To address this, a Malaysian inventor named Zhafri Zainudin developed StixFresh, a natural sticker that extends the life of a fruit. 

Photo courtesy of RypLabs website.

Zainudin claims that the sticker works in the same manner as plants’ natural defenses do. Simply attaching a piece of sticker to the fruit can increase its shelf life by up to two weeks. 

The creator said that StixFresh stickers may help address hunger and promote health by allowing customers extra time to enjoy fruit before it spoils.

How do the stickers work?

The stickers are the size of an American 50 cent coin and are made of natural ingredients that mimic the antibacterial properties used by plants to defend themselves against postharvest infections.

When affixed to the fruit, chemicals from the sticker spread out to create a layer that protects the surface and slows the ripening process.

A comparison of two mangoes with and without StixFresh. (Photo courtesy of RypLabs website)

This invention came up after Zainudin’s friend who owns a fruit stall requested assistance in reducing the amount of goods he was losing due to spoilage. 

In Kuala Lumpur, the majority of the fruits already had a tag indicating their variety. So Zainudin believed that applying another sticker to preserve the fruits would eliminate the need for producers and retailers to make additional investments.

The stickers, which work effectively on apples, avocados, citrus fruits, and mangoes, are currently being enhanced to also prolong the shelf life of berries and vegetables.

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