Strawberries go to pot but the CBD oil should just protect them

Alan Titchmarsh demonstrates how to grow strawberries

The scourge of squishy strawberries has been squashed – with the help of cannabis oil.

As the summertime favourite gets set to delight thousands of tennis fans at Wimbledon, a study has shown an invisible coating can stop them going off.

Scientists at Thammasat University and Chulabhorn Research Institute in Thailand have developed a covering that can be used on the berries made from cannabidiol, one of the chemical compounds found in marijuana.

Previous studies showed that CBD can limit the growth of some bacteria and pathogenic fungi, including some of those that rot food.

The researchers combined the chemical with a biodegradable polymer already used in drug delivery, before mixing this with water and a food additive called sodium alginate.

Strawberries were then dipped into it plus a combination of ascorbic acid and calcium chloride, which turned it into a gel. These strawberries and untreated ones were put in a refrigerator in opened plastic containers for 15 days.

The ones treated with CBD decayed more slowly, kept a darker red colour for longer and showed the largest anti-microbial protection.

The study, published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, stated: “A significantly delayed deterioration was observed in terms of weight loss, total acidity, pH, microbial activity, and antioxidant activity for coated strawberries.

“It demonstrates the capability of eCBDi nanoparticles as an efficient active food coating agent.”

CBD is well known for its ability to ease ailments like anxiety and pain.

Research published in Postharvest Biology and Technology in 2021 showed it “has the potential to be used as an effective anti-microbial treatment and to extend strawberry shelf life”.

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