Preserving freshness: Edible CBD coating prolongs shelf life of fruits

This innovative solution shows promise in reducing food waste and could have far-reaching applications.
Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji Bello
grapefruits and pot leaves
CBD is good for your fruit

Stefan Tomic/iStock  

We all know the feeling – you bring home a pack of your favorite fruit, only to be met with disappointment when you discover that it has already started to go bad. It's frustrating, right?

To combat this, researchers in Thailand have come up with a remarkable solution. They have developed an invisible, edible coating made with cannabidiol (CBD) that can significantly extend the shelf life of fruit.

Over the years, scientists have been on a quest to find ways to give fruits and other perishable foods a longer lifespan without compromising their nutritional value or taste. 

They have experimented with various edible coatings made from intriguing materials like spider silk, shrimp shells, eggs, pectin, and milk proteins. And now, CBD has joined the list of innovative solutions.

CBD, the chemical in marijuana that doesn't contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gets you high, has gained popularity for its potential therapeutic benefits in treating anxiety, epilepsy, pain, and other health issues. But recent studies have uncovered another exciting aspect of CBD – it exhibits signs of antimicrobial activity.

Armed with this knowledge, scientists from Thammasat University and Chulabhorn Research Institute in Thailand embarked on a mission to investigate whether CBD could be used to preserve fruit.

How does it work?

So, how does this magical coating work? The research team combined CBD with biodegradable polymers already used in drug delivery to create tiny nanoparticles measuring a mere 400 nanometers in width. 

These nanoparticles were then mixed with water and a food additive called sodium alginate. Next came the fun part – they dipped the fruit, not limited to just strawberries, into the CBD-infused solution. 

Afterward, the fruit took a second bath in ascorbic acid and calcium chloride, which transformed the coating into a gel-like protective layer. 

To put it to the test, the researchers placed both treated and untreated fruit, like our strawberries, in open plastic containers and stored them in the refrigerator for several weeks. 

The CBD-treated fruit stays fresher for a much longer period compared to the naked ones. Not only did they resist decay over 15 days, but they also retained their vibrant color for an extended time. 

Interestingly, the research team observed that higher amounts of CBD yielded even better preservation results.

Preserving freshness: Edible CBD coating prolongs shelf life of fruits
A strawberry enveloped in an edible CBD coating (left) still appeared fresh compared to an untreated berry (right) after 15 days.

With further study and refinement, CBD coating could revolutionize the way we combat food waste. It could be applied not only to different types of fruit but also to a wide range of perishable foods prone to spoilage.

Thanks to their efforts, we might soon have access to fruit that stays fresh for longer, minimizing waste and ensuring that we can enjoy our favorite treats at their absolute best.

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