Electronics brand and appliance maker Beko claims it has found a way to keep fruits and vegetables fresher and their nutrients intact when you store them in the fridge. The company today unveiled its HarvestFresh three-color technology at IFA 2019, Europe’s largest consumer electronics show.
Developed to go into Beko fridges, the technology recreates the 24-hour sun cycle in your refrigerator using combinations of blue, red, and green lights to mimic natural sunlight as well as “times of darkness,” according to a press release. The company says that doing so preserves Vitamin A and C levels in the produce, making them more nutritious when it comes time for eating: “By utilizing the power of varying light combination, fruits and vegetables are exposed to a natural way of preserving the vitamin, encouraging a healthier diet.”
A few details about the technology remain unclear, including whether consumers can program the light “recipe” themselves and if the light combo can adjust (with or without the consumer’s help) based on the types of produce in the fridge. According to the Beko press release, product testing and certification company Intertek tested the HarvestFresh tech in a lab on tomatoes and green peppers over a seven-day period. With such a limited timeframe and sampling of produce, it’s hard to say how effective this technology would be if used around the clock for months on end on a wide range of household produce.
Still, the idea of using light combinations to preserve and optimize produce — which is also a core element of vertical farming — is worth watching for the role it could potentially play not just in maintaining more nutrients in produce but also in preserving food for longer and in doing so cutting back on food waste in the home.
HarvestFresh technology will be available in select Beko fridges in 2020.