StixFresh, a Washington State-based startup, is taking sustainability to the next level by revolutionizing the way produce stays fresh with its simple, all-natural product—a sticker. This sticker is composed of a naturally occuring compound in fruit that protects it from water, sun, and other environmental damage, which is then extracted and added onto the wax of a sticker to help protect the fruit for up to two additional weeks. And with more than half of all fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S. going to waste each year, this is a promising breakthrough that could help put an end to food waste.
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Andrea Youmans, the director of business development for StixFresh, explained their stickers have gone through third-party testing to ensure they can truly preserve a fruit’s stability and structure. Apples, avocados, citrus, pomegranates, pears, kiwi, papaya, dragonfruit, mangosteen, and mangoes have all been approved. StixFresh is currently testing other fruits and vegetables such as berries, bananas, and tomatoes at their lab in Belgium and are working on opening a lab in Washington to work with produce growers in the area.
StixFresh originated in a rural area south of Kuala Lumpur, Maylasia, where Zhafri Zainudin was trying to help one of his friends—a mango producer—from losing profit due to his fruit spoiling too quickly. Zaindin wanted to find a way to better protect mangoes from going rotten without interrupting distribution, and after lots of research and experimentation, he simply improved upon pre-existing fruit distribution stickers with a formulation of wax and all-natural, plant-based compounds—such as beeswax and the natural secretion already protecting the fruit.
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The inventor connected with Moody Soliman and Steve Hulteng, successful product developers in the medical field, at a conference in Dubai, and thus, StixFresh was born. The product is now available through IndieGoGo, and the company has already well exceeded its goal of raising $5000 in 30 days (they raised it in just two days!)
This campaign is aimed at consumers, allowing them to purchase packs of 25-3500 stickers for home use, but they are also working on a larger scale with produce growers and food retailers to prevent spoilage before the produce even gets into our hands.
“We wanted to test it to see how people would respond to the product,” Youmans said regarding the company’s choice to use the IndieGoGo platform. We think it’s safe to say the public is supportive.
StixFresh’s ingredients have met the FDA’s GRAS—Generally Recognized As Safe—requirements and are a chemical-free answer to helping producers and retailers keep their produce both safe and fresh. And if that’s not enough do-gooding for you, StixFresh teamed up with the hunger-ending organization Feeding America to donate a meal for every 100 stickers purchased.
The company has already started to reap the fruit of their efforts, as StixFresh won Best Sustainability Initiative and Best Packaging Technology at this year’s World Food Innovation Awards. Right now, you can only find them on IndieGoGo, but if you pre-order the stickers now you’ll receive them by August.
We have a feeling you’ll be able to buy them in stores in the near future, and we’ll keep you up to date on StixFresh’s availability as more information becomes available.
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