One of the biggest food problems we have in our kitchens is wastage.

Fresh fruit and vegetables – bought with the best of intentions – can end up rotting in our fridges simply because we don’t have enough time or people to consume them before their use-by dates.

But one start-up company hopes to change all that with a product that it says could make food last longer.

Phresh: Food Protector.
(Phresh Organics/YouTube screengrab)

After launching on crowdfunding website Kickstarter earlier this year, Phresh – an Israeli firm based in China – is on course to ship its first batch of products known as Food Protectors.

Phresh claims its nifty kitchen gadget can delay the decay of fresh produce by nearly a month (in some cases).

The gizmo comes in two different shapes (apples or cute robots) and contains powder sachets made up of micro-encapsulated essential oils.

Phresh: Food Protector.
(Phresh Organics/YouTube screengrab)

But how does it work?

Phresh’s campaign video explains: “We created a system of micro encapsulation which houses many different types of oils on a microscopic level, allowing for their immensely slowed-down release into the air.

“This creates an atmospheric condition which then kills all the fungi and bacteria while oxygenating the fruit and vegetables – increasing their shelf life to be three times longer.”

Phresh founder and CEO Amit Gal-Or says the firm has been working on the technology for 12 years.

“When we examined the statistics behind food waste of the average household, we were shocked to find that we throw away between $300-$500 (£213-£356) of fruits and vegetables that have spoiled on an annual basis,” Gal-Or writes in his blog.

“This harms both our environment and our pockets, and we priced the Food Protectors accordingly, at 10% of the amount of fruits and vegetables that we waste.”

Phresh: Food Protector.
(Phresh Organics/YouTube screengrab)

The company says its powder is not only organic, it is safe to eat as well.

“Our powder is already able to effectively extend the shelf life of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, apples, grapes, mushrooms, and lemons, lettuce, and we are always working on adding more,” Gal-Or adds.

“It is completely organic and non-toxic, which is extremely important to everything that we do.”

Phresh: Food Protector.
(Phresh Organics/YouTube screengrab)

Phresh recently finished its round on Kickstarter, beating its target and raising over US$30,000 (£21,365) and is currently looking for funds on Indiegogo with US$31,000 (£22,078) and counting.

The firm also claims its product could help families save money every year. According to its food waste calculator, a family of two adults and two children could save more than US$74 (£52) a year by using one Food Protector.