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Material-independent nanocoating antimicrobial spray extends the shelf life of produce

Numerous coating strategies are available to control the surface properties and confer new properties to substrates for applications in energy, environment, biosystems, etc., but most have the intrinsic limitations in the practical setting: (1) highly specific interactions between coating materials and target surfaces are required for stable and durable coating; (2) the coating of bulk substrates, such as fruits, is time-consuming or is not achievable in the conventional solution-based coating. In this respect, material-independent and rapid coating strategies are highly demanded. We demonstrate spray-assisted nanocoating of supramolecular metal-organic complexes of tannic acid and ferric ions. The spray coating developed is material-independent and extremely rapid (<5 sec), allowing for coating of commodity goods, such as shoe insoles and fruits, in the controlled fashion. For example, the spray-coated mandarin oranges and strawberries show significantly prolonged post-harvest shelf-life, suggesting practical potential in edible coating of perishable produce.

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