Jun 6, 2022
Edible coating extends shelf life of fresh produce

A new edible coating, NatuWrap, extends the shelf life of fresh produce, cutting down on food waste.

NatuWrap keeps moisture in and oxygen and unwanted micro-organisms out, according to a news release, providing value to growers, packers, retailers and consumers. Gary Beall and Rusty Phillips teamed up with experts in the produce industry to develop NatuWrap. Beall is CEO, founder and chair of the board at NatuWrap manufacturer Nabaco Inc., San Marcos, Texas, and Phillips is executive vice president. According to a news release, they are entrepreneurs, inventors and researchers in material and biosciences.

Gary Beall

“I am excited about Nabaco because it is one of those rare occasions when the technology improves food quality, lowers food waste and improves the bottom line for farmers, distributors and retailers,” Beall said in the release. “It also has the side effect of lessening world food insecurity and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Phillips met Beall at Texas State University and was impressed by his ability to bridge the gap between industry and academia.

“Gary is versatile and has a tremendously broad expertise,” Phillips said in the release. “He understands the strengths and weaknesses of both industry and academia and is able to cross silos.”

Rusty Phillips

Beall has a Ph.D. in chemistry and worked in various industry roles for 21 years. He holds 48 U.S. patents and his research interests include clay nanoparticles, nanocomposites and graphene materials. The combination of Beall’s experience in industry and as a professor and associate dean at Texas State University motivated him to start a commercialization program at the university, according to the release.

The Texas State Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization (MSEC) program leads students through their research in a manner where they can focus on marketability and commercialization of their respective technologies. Beall runs an entrepreneurial boot camp and has competed seven times at The Rice Business Plan competition with student teams.

Phillips has a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of New Mexico and has more than 40 years of industry experience and 15 U.S. patents. His research interests center around implant device product development, according to the release. He is a founder and the vice president of technology for BioStable Science & Engineering, a cardiovascular implant device startup. He is active at Texas State University as an advisor, entrepreneur in residence, and board member for the Texas State Development Foundation. He brings extensive expertise on intellectual property, sales, marketing, project management and commercialization to Nabaco.

“Rusty’s years of experience in entrepreneurship, intellectual property and navigating the regulatory environment are critical to MSEC, Nabaco’s success and impacting student careers, food quality and supply,” Beall said in the release.

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