Malaysian Zhafri Zainudin invented stickers to keep fruits fresh for up to 14 days, or even longer. Stixfresh also aims to help solve the world’s food wastage problem, as 52% of fruits and vegetables in the U.S. goes to waste—throwing out USD 161 billion (RM667 billion) worth of wasted food.
These stickers about the size of a 50 cent coin, and are coated with a mixture of sodium chloride and beeswax—which helps slow down the fruit ripening process by removing ethylene. They also claim that their stickers use 100% natural ingredients, and that they are also safe to consume.
According to their patent, Stixfresh uses salt to absorb moisture from its surroundings. It kind of reminds me of how I would keep my sliced apples in salt water so that they don’t brown.
The idea started when Zhafri was talking to a friend with a fruit stall who was “losing money everyday due to fruits going bad”. According to his friend, there’s no way to stop nature from running its course.
“Maybe I can’t stop nature, but could I slow it down?” said Zhafri.
The inventor then spend three years to perfect the sticker’s efficacy and manufacturing process. The stickers were just made for mangoes before they found out that it worked on other types of fruits around the same size with the same similarities.
Stixfresh stickers can be stuck on apples, pears, avocados, dragonfruits, kiwis, mangoes, oranges, melons and other citrus fruits. They’re also currently working on other variety of fruits like berries, as well as vegetables too. Stixfresh introduced their own sachet packets last December designed to keep leafy vegetables fresh.
“Beyond the time-consuming shipping process, it’s a constant struggle to ensure that produce arrives in the best possible condition. For retailers, these losses equate to lower margins which in turn affects their cash flow negatively,” wrote Stixfresh.
Zhafri hopes that by reducing food wastage with the stickers, farmers, distributors, retailers and consumers could save money, while protecting the environment. He was also selected to join as a panelist for UpLink Innovation Day 2021 in April.