Dec 3, 2021
Organic, washable fruit coating launched for the produce industry

Yumbrella, an organic, washable coating for apples, has been launched in the U.S. by Startchy. It is the first washable coating for the U.S. fruit and vegetable industry.

Yumbrella is USDA-, Canada- and EU-certified organic and made with common food ingredients. After several years of research and development, Yumbrella has completed commercial testing over recent months with Domex Superfresh Growers and various national retailers in advance of their market roll out.

“The produce industry has no shortage of fruit and vegetable coatings, but it has long been lacking an affordable and customizable organic solution,” Andy Tudor of AT Ag Consulting and consultant/director of business development for Yumbrella, said in a news release. “Most importantly this product meets the needs of everyone in the supply chain, including the grower, while still offering consumers a product that can easily be washed off with water, unlike wax or other coating chemicals that interfere with taste.”

Yumbrella was invented with growers’ needs in mind. The affordability that Tudor speaks of is the very foundation on which Yumbrella was built with growers in the developing world. The result is what Yumbrella refers to as its “invention born out of necessity” which solves a high-tech problem with a low-tech solution. Its use of common food ingredients and a lack of licensing fees allows Yumbrella to meet the demands of large and small growers alike requiring no expensive equipment or application protocols.

“This product has always offered unique market potential because it set out to put the grower first, with benefits outweighing its cost and the fact that it is a drop-in replacement for existing coating infrastructure,” said Seth Shumate, CEO of Yumbrella. “Coated fruit lasts longer at the packhouse, at retail and at home, which makes for a better eating experience.”

In addition to its affordability, Yumbrella also offers adaptable recipes including a natural finish for organic application, and an attractive high-gloss recipe for conventional apples which are traditionally coated with wax.

“We’ve used and tested a variety of coatings over the years, but none that have started by saying how it helps growers reduce cost and warehouse loss,” said Robert Kershaw, CEO, Domex Superfresh. “The Yumbrella team’s commitment to the entire supply chain – in addition to its global mission – actually makes this a more sustainable product for everyone involved and we are already seeing the bigger opportunity.”

Yumbrella is currently being tested on a variety of additional commodities, including avocados and citrus, to name a few.

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