You need to know one thing: You're not the only ones with a problem with fruit spoiling too quickly. Sounds like a conspiracy, don't you think? One buys a basket of strawberries, takes it home, opens it and… bam! It's already worm food. A team of Thai researchers is trying to solve the problem with an invisible (and edible) cannabis-based coating.
To be precise, based on one of the two chemical compounds that are part of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD).
An innovation... fruitful
Over the years, our valiant scientists have sought to give fruits and other perishable foods a longer life, but without compromising their nutritional value or taste.
Why could the answer be CBD, the "innocent" part of cannabis (since it doesn't contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient that makes you feel "high")?
Well, because CBD is not just any compound. Aside from its potential therapeutic benefits in treating anxiety, epilepsy, pain, and other health issues. Scholars from Thammasat University and the Chulabhorn Research Institute in Thailand have found that this substance shows signs of antimicrobial activity. And they decided to put it to the test.
This is how the cannabis protective coating works
First, the research team combined CBD with biodegradable polymers to create tiny nanoparticles just 400 nanometers wide.
These nanoparticles are then mixed with water and a food additive called sodium alginate. At that point, the fruits that you want to preserve are immersed in the infused CBD solution.
A second bath in ascorbic acid and calcium chloride finally transforms the "cannabis" coating into a gel-like protective layer.
The laboratory results
To test the effectiveness of this protective layer, the researchers compared treated and untreated fruit by storing it in the refrigerator for several weeks.
The results (I link them to you here) are amazing: CBD-treated fruit stays fresh much longer than the untreated one. Not only does it resist decomposition for over 15 days, but it also maintains a bright color for a longer period of time.
Cannabis against food waste?
With further study and refinement, the CBD coating could revolutionize the way we fight 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 these efforts, we may soon have access to fruit that stays fresher for longer, guaranteeing us our favorite treats in their full glory.
A real blast, right?