Fruits and vegetables aren’t commodities with long shelf life. You need extra effort to keep them fresh while distributing them to customers’ hands.
Fear not, recently, Balai Besar Litbang Pascapanen Pertanian or Indonesia’s post-harvest department just released technology that can prolong shelf-life for fruits and vegetables. This technology uses nano zeolite for packaging. Based on the research, nano zeolite that is used to make the packaging can prolong shelf-life for bananas up until 30 days, snake fruits up until 40 days, and red chili peppers up until 30 days in 12-14 degree celcius.
How does it work?
Nano zeolite plays the role of ethylene gas absorbing substance. Ethylene gas is secreted by fruits and vegetables in ripening process and can accelerate ripening process. Nano zeolite is predicted to be cheap enough for mass production because its main ingredient, zeolite, is plentiful in Indonesia. The best zeolite mostly come from mines in Lampung, Banten, Malang, and Tasikmalaya. Today, zeolite is sold for 500 IDR per kilogram.
It has been known for quite a while that zeolite is an ethylene gas absorbent. Nanotechnology now makes it possible to use zeolite to make packaging. Other than that, nanotechnology also multiplies zeolite’s ability to absorb ethylene gas. This efficiency happens due to the size of the zeolite particles. The smaller they get, the bigger the surface area is thus increasing contact between zeolite and ethylene gas.
With this technology, we hope we can push down loss due to rotting during distribution. This technology is quite simple and can be produced cheaply with great results.