ARTICLE | Strategy

Low-tech solution to longer shelf-life

August 9, 1993 7:00 AM UTC

In ag biotech even more than in pharmaceuticals, low-tech, low-priced products are likely to jostle for consumer acceptance along with high-tech, high-priced goods. Fruits and vegetables are already commodities, and consumers count costs in pennies.

EcoScience Corp.'s Nature Seal, a wax coating made from vegetable-based materials, is one low-cost, low-tech solution to controlled ripening and prolonged shelf-life. ECSC will begin sales in papayas and limes this month and expects 1993 sales of $1 million. Made of GRAS (generally recognized as safe) materials and invented by USDA scientists, Nature Seal is water soluble and can be washed off of fruits and vegetables, unlike the wax currently used on apples, pears, cucumbers and certain peppers. It was recently purchased by ECSC from Seald Sweet Growers and J.R. Brooks...