A group of six investigators from the Superior Polytechnical School of Orihuela at the University Miguel Hernandez have discovered how to delay the maturation process of fruit and vegetables. The method doesn't use chemicals and so doesn't affect the flavour, the colour or any other properties of the fruit.
The professor and investigator, Martinez Romero explained that the maturation processes produces a hormone called ethylene which accelerates its progress. The secret is therefore to neutralize the ethylene.
To this end, the team have devised a system that uses activated charcoal and palladium which absorbs ethylene and fixes it to the surface. There it is catalyzed and transformed into CO2 and water. The system, that could be installed in refrigerated transport and on supermarket shelves, would effectively double the life of fruit and vegetables.
Apart from the obvious benefit of giving the fruit a longer shelf life, it would mean that when there was an excess, the surplus crop could be stored for longer than it is at present.