Newly Published USDA Research Proves Akorn’s Coatings Eliminate Listeria on Peaches and Nectarines

Side by side comparison of fresh nectarines with and without Akorn edible coating

Akorn Protects Nectarines from Rot and Mold and Extends Shelf Life

Akorn’s coatings have potential to significantly reduce the risk of illness and costly recalls due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination, according to USDA.

OAKLAND, CA, UNITED STATES, August 5, 2021 / — Newly Published USDA Research Proves Akorn’s Coatings Eliminate Listeria on Peaches and Nectarines

US fruit and vegetable consumption decreased by 10% in last 20 years, while the amount of food consumers throw out increased by 25%. USDA’s latest research indicates Akorn’s coatings have the potential to significantly reduce the risk of illness and costly recalls due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Akorn Technology (”Akorn”) is pleased to announce that USDA, its research partner, has presented the company’s product testing research results at the IAFP (International Association for Food Protection) 2021 Annual Meeting. The results indicate that Akorn’s coatings are effective not only at extending the shelf life of fresh produce but also at controlling the growth of Listeria on produce at both refrigerated and room temperatures.

The National Science Foundation (“NSF”) under its Small Business Innovation Research (“SBIR”) program focuses on transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit. NSF’s mission is to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF.

“Akorn was founded to solve major problems our grower/packer customers have told us they face. Current coatings fail to address human pathogens on fresh produce, like Listeria that has caused major international recalls for peaches and other US-grown fruits and vegetables. We are proud to share our USDA research partner’s significant findings that Akorn’s all-natural, plant-based coatings reduced Listeria counts on fresh nectarines by approximately two orders of magnitude compared to the petroleum-based polyethylene wax which is commonly used in the stone fruit industry. Our coatings significantly extended the shelf-life of nectarines at room temperature, better preserved their weight throughout the storage period, and retained higher firmness and better texture compared to wax-coated nectarines,” said Anthony Zografos, Founder and CEO of Akorn.

“Our nectarine customers tell us that extending shelf-life and controlling listeria on fresh peaches with a plant-based coating is a major breakthrough. In the last recall of fresh peaches, about one-third or about 150,000 metric tons of all fresh peaches grown in the US had to be located and transported to a hazardous waste facility to be incinerated or buried underground. Not only was this a massive waste of food, but it also depleted critical resources like staff time, money and infrastructure. A large customer told us if we can stop just one major outbreak, we will have saved more food than maybe anyone else in history besides the inventors of fermentation or refrigeration,” said Xander Shapiro, Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Akorn.

Akorn enables sustainable agriculture and production and drives higher food security and improved nutrition. Its coatings cut moisture, rot and decay losses in half in the supply chain and offer a solution packers want to adopt. The company is conducting onsite tests with leading stone and pome fruit growers later this month.

About Akorn Technology, Inc.
Founded in 2019, Akorn is a startup that uses upcycled, non-GMO corn and rice by-products to manufacture all-natural, clean label, non-GMO, plant-protein-based edible coatings platform for whole and cut fresh produce. Akorn coatings double or triple fresh produce shelf life and deliver long-lasting and safe produce. Its mission is to promote better nutrition and taste and prevent food waste throughout the produce supply chain by enabling producers and retailers to deliver harvest-fresh, tastier, and longer-lasting fruits and vegetables. Akorn’s coatings can be customized on-demand and on-site for different crops, with a broad range of additional functionalities (antimicrobials, fungicides, surface finishes, etc.). For more information, visit

Twitter: @AkornTechnology
Logos available upon request.

About the National Science Foundation (“NSF”) Small Business Innovation Research (“SBIR”) program
The NSF SBIR program focuses on transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit. Unlike fundamental research, the NSF SBIR program supports startups and small businesses in the creation of deep technologies, getting discoveries out of the lab and into the market. The NSF SBIR program funds research and development. The program is designed to provide non-dilutive funding and entrepreneurial support at the earliest stages of company and technology development.
Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $1,000,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.
Startups or entrepreneurs who submit a three-page Project Pitch will know within three weeks if they meet the program’s objectives to support innovative technologies that show promise of commercial and/or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program, also known as America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit:

About IAFP (International Association for Food Protection)
International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) represents more than 4,500 food safety professionals committed to Advancing Food Safety Worldwide®. The association includes educators, government officials, microbiologists, food industry executives, and quality control professionals who are involved in all aspects of growing, storing, transporting, processing, and preparing all types of foods. Working together, IAFP members, representing more than 70 countries, help the association achieve its mission through networking, educational programs, journals, career opportunities, and numerous other resources. For more information, visit

Anthony Zografos PhD, Founder Akorn Technology,
+1 415-612-0497
Xander Shapiro, Co-Founder Akorn Technology,
+1 415 793 4995

Latin America and Europe contacts available (languages Spanish, German, Swedish, Greek)

Xander Shapiro
Akorn Technology
+1 415-793-4995

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