USDA, Canada and EU certified-organic Yumbrella is made with common food ingredients.
After several years of research and development, Startchy Inc. has launched Yumbrella, its certified-organic coating for the apple industry — marking the first washable coating for the U.S. fruit and vegetable industry.
“The produce industry has no shortage of fruit and vegetable coatings, but it has long been lacking an affordable and customizable organic solution,” said Andy Tudor, of AT Ag Consulting and consultant/director of business development for Yumbrella. “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.”
The use of common plant-based ingredients and a lack of expensive licensing fees allow 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," noted Seth Shumate, CEO of Yumbrella. "Coated fruit lasts longer at the packhouse, at retail and at home, which makes for a better eating experience.”
Yumbrella also offers adaptable recipes, including a natural finish for organic application, and an attractive high-gloss recipe for conventional apples that are traditionally coated with wax.
Commercial testing of the coating was completed over recent months with Domex Superfresh Growers and various national retailers, in advance of the market roll out.
“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 of Yakima, Wash.-based Domex Superfresh Growers. “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.
Founded in 2017, the mission of the Lebanese-American company Startchy is to reduce food spoilage and eliminate reliance on plastics and synthetic chemicals by using natural bio-based technologies.