Discover, Connect & Collaborate at TECHINNOVATION 2021

Biobased Edible Coating: Keeping Food Fresher Longer

Technology Overview

Background: According to the UN FAO, over 40% of freshly produced food goes to waste and the economic costs of this food wastage amount to about USD 1 trillion each year. A major part of this economic costs includes USD 394 billion loss due to the 3.5 Gt greenhouse gas emission. This is an immense threat to our humanosphere, and we want to reduce the food wastages by using our sustainable coating technology.

Technology: This technology team has developed a food coating material (BioCoat) using plant-based natural biomaterials (FDA approved food ingredients) that extends shelf-life of food 2-3 times compare to uncoated foods (strawberry, avocado, cut pineapple, Banana, lychee, tiger shrimp). BioCoat is comprised of edible polysaccharide composite and its deposition on food surfaces results in the formation of a thin edible barrier film reduces the respiration (oxygen transport), decreases evaporation of water from food, and prevents the invasion of microorganisms.

Primary target market: Farm, Wholesaler, Retailers (Fruits/vegetable and Seafood markets in Singapore), Exporters (ASEAN).

Future Partnership: This technology owner is interested in process co-development, importers, that may lead to a joint venture and/or licensing of this technology. Potential partners at all value chains are food (including seafood) producers, importers/exporters, and distributors.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

Innovation: This BioCoat technology demonstrates a biobased coating that exhibits barrier performance on food surfaces and improves its shelf-life 2-3 times longer. Specifically, it is composed of nanostructured fibrous particles biocomposite, exhibits moisture and oxygen barrier properties at 4 °C and room temperatures. BioCoat is a colloidal suspension in water and can be applied on fresh food surfaces by dipping, spraying, or brushing post-harvest as part of the supply chains.

Value Propositions:

  • Protective barrier on fruit/vegetable/seafood surfaces
  • Made by renewable biomaterials and cost-effective in nature
  • Purely organic and edible
  • Increases the shelf-life of fruit, vegetable, and seafood

Why it is unique:  So far, almost all food coating technologies have been based on wax, but BioCoat technology is wax free, anti-bacterial and can stand in high moisture condition. The raw materials are easily available from natural sources and cost-effective.

Potential Applications

Application area:

The primary application area:

  • Fruit/ vegetable/ seafoodsectors: able to extend shelf-life and reduce food wastages.
  • Food packaging (Future applications to be explored)
  • Cut-flowers by increasing the shelf-life (Future applications to be explored)

Market size: Primary target market is “Fresh Produce”, including fruits, vegetables, and seafood. According to the report, the global fruit and vegetable processing industry generated revenue approximately 290 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2020. Revenue in the Fresh Fruits segment in Singapore amounts to USD 548 million in 2020. The market is expected to grow annually by 0.05% (CAGR 2021-2025). In case of seafood revenue, total global market was USD 113 billion (2020), and 994 million was associated to Singapore [Source:].

Customer Benefits

Business Opportunity: Our primary focus market is “Fresh produce”, which mainly comprised by fruits, vegetables and seafoods. The food coating product will be best fit to B2B and initial targeting customers are farms wholesalers, big retailers in Singapore and also foreign exporters (ASEAN countries).

Economic, Environmental, Social benefits: Wasting food raises social questions, particularly given the current global financial crisis, rising food prices and international food shortages. By reducing only one-fourth of the food lost or wasted globally would be sufficient to feed 870 million people which is equivalent to 12% of the world's current population. The above matter will be taken care by this sustainable coating material in future. Also, food waste causes huge economic costs includes USD 394 billion loss due to the 3.5 Gt greenhouse gas emission every year and let’s create a sustainable future by reducing food waste using this green edible coating technology.

Contact Person

Rekha D/O Thiagarajan


NTU - NTUitive >> ICT, AgriTech and FoodTech

Technology Category

  • Foods

Technology Readiness Level


Biobased Edible Coating; Keep Food Fresher Longer, Fruits, Fish, Aquaculture, Vegetable, Preservation, Shelf Life