Wilted greens, be gone. That’s right, Electrolux is here to help.
Think of it like the opposite of freezer burn. This fridge maker’s new light system, called NutriLight, is designed to add energy and nutrient content back into produce as it’s stored in the fridge. Urban Wählby, researcher in the global advanced development department of Electrolux Food Preservation, says the light treatment does not “give eternal life to the produce, but it does give an additional boost.”
The NutriLight works best on leafy greens, because in the realm of vegetables, they have the greatest surface area to depth ratio.
How does it work? The NutriLight is an energy-efficient light source that doesn’t emit harmful UV and ultrared light rays, therefore only emitting the rays beneficial to post-harvest produce. Essentially, synthetic photosynthesis is occurring in your crisper drawer. The NutriLight works best on leafy greens, because in the realm of vegetables, they have the greatest surface area to depth ratio. Also, Wählby hopes that the NutriLight, which has the added benefit of illuminating the crisper drawer, will have the secondary result of drawing customers towards making healthier eating choices overall.
The NutriFresh refrigerator, which contains the NutrilLight, is currently only available to Asian markets. According to Electrolux, this is in part due to consumer behavior: In Asia, more consumers shop for food daily rather than weekly — and more often than not, are buying straight from the farmer. Though the produce itself may be fresher what is typically found in Western grocery stores, it has also been exposed to more elements (like sunlight and warm temperatures), leading to a more rapid decay.
But the NutriFresh isn’t the only thing that’s growing in fridge technology — Hanna Sandström, an industrial designer from Stockholm, in partnership with Whirlpool and Green Fortune, has designed a fridge that uses hydroponic technology to grow herbs and salad greens right in your refrigerator door. Controlled by the display located on the top of the fridge, the light, temperature, water, and nutrition is provided automatically. Inspired by the locavore movement, Sandström wanted to provide people an aesthetically pleasing way to grow food without the hassle.
Photo courtesy of electrolux.com.ph