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Bill Gates-Backed Upstart Helps Costco Keep Avocados Ripe Longer

Workers pack Florida green skin avocados at the New Limeco LLC packaging facility in Princeton, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. 

Workers pack Florida green skin avocados at the New Limeco LLC packaging facility in Princeton, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. 

Photographer: Mark Elias/Bloomberg

A startup backed by Bill Gates is tackling the problem of avocados that ripen too fast.

Apeel Sciences uses food waste and other plant material to create a product that delays the aging of produce, potentially giving U.S. retailers an opportunity to cut down on the amount of fresh food they throw out. And for the first time, fruit treated by Apeel -- avocados that stay ripe for twice as long -- will debut in about 100 grocery stores in the Midwest, including more than 30 Costco locations.