How to Keep Produce Fresh Longer? Adding an Egg?
Okay, now that just sounds weird! And yet as I read the article from The Counter last week, there was no denying that food scientists were onto something.
I love all kinds of berries, and I buy them quite often. And just as often, I end up throwing a lot of them out, as it seems they grow moldy in just a few day's time! Same thing with avocados, I'll buy a bunch of them, only to have them all ripen at once and go to mush.
The mere fact that many scientists are working on the problem let me know that I'm not alone. Their goal was to find a way of preserving fresh produce for longer periods of time, with the goal of reducing food waste.
In a ground-breaking experiment, food technology researchers "dipped strawberries, avocados, bananas, and papayas into a mixture of egg white and egg yolk and monitored changes in shelf life over time." Their findings were published about a month and a half ago in Advanced Materials and it's an interesting read.
They were trying to find something other than the wax which is commonly used to preserve some produce items and found that protein-based substances actually do the trick. Not only did their egg coating help berries stay juicy and decay-free for a much longer period of time, but it also did the same for bananas, avocados, and papayas.
Now they are looking for alternative protein sources that could be used, knowing that many people have egg sensitivities. But this issue may not even be an issue, due to the fact that all traces of the egg wash disappear after 2 minutes of rinsing the fruits.
I wouldn't start dipping your produce in egg wash, however. The food scientists' product was an intricate concoction of egg white and egg yolk powder, cellulose, glycerin, and more. But it's exciting to think about the possibilities!