Extending shelf-life of fruits, vegetables, and flowers with plant-based products


The Lebanon-based start-up, XtendSolution, has developed a natural, biodegradable solution in the form of a patch to extend the shelf-life of fresh plant-based products such as fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Xtend’s patch is made from natural resources that are not scarce but come from fruit and vegetable leftovers. In this way, they use waste to reduce waste while also increasing food security. For this reason, Xtend has been chosen as the ISC3 Start-up of the Month for July 2022.

Year of Foundation:

May 2022

Addresses the following SDGs:

SDG 4 (zero hunger), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production)


Xtend’s logo
Xtend’s logo
Rachel Sfeir, co-founder and R&D manager standing in front of her start-up poster at a trade fair
Rachel Sfeir, co-founder and R&D manager
Naji Beyrouthy, co-founder and CEO presenting their start-up at a trade fair
Naji Beyrouthy, co-founder and CEO
Xtend’s patch inside the strawberry punnet
Xtend’s patch inside the strawberry punnet
First prototype production line
First prototype production line

Mission to extend the shelf life of fresh products

The idea behind XtendSolution started from the need for a local, affordable solution to extend the short shelf-life of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. This motivated Rachel Sfeir (co-founder and R&D manager) and Naji Beyrouthy (co-founder and CEO) to come up with a natural patch that can be placed in any type of packaging material. Rachel and Naji are both agricultural engineers and helped in establishing Agriwa, an agricultural company, straight after graduating from university. Agriwa is now a major supplier of food and beverages in the MENA region and specializes in all types of organic and conventional farming. Later on, Rachel and Naji decided to found Xtend focusing on solution for extending the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables, while continuing to work for Agriwa, as Agriwa owns a percentage of Xtend. They joined the Agrytech start-up program by Berytech which helped them to create their MVP.

“The name XtendSolution was picked as it reflects our mission to extend the shelf life of fresh products. We chose Xtend instead of Extend as we have the X factor of being natural, biodegradable, and affordable,”
Naji explains. The start-up has faced numerous challenges including the massive explosion in the Beirut port in 2020 which destroyed their offices, an economic collapse, rising political instability, Covid-19 global pandemic, devaluation of the Lebanese currency which has lost more than 95% of its value since 2019, and capital controls imposed by banks. However, as Naji stated:
“These challenges have caused many delays in our progress but have not and will not stop us from achieving our goals.”

Natural and biodegradable ethylene “scavenger”

Xtend`s innovation is a natural, biodegradable solution in the form of a patch made from plant-based raw materials that form a gelatin mix. It can be placed inside any packaging material and helps extend the shelf life of fresh products (fruits, vegetables, and flowers). It is an ethylene “scavenger”, where the patch will scavenge the ethylene that is emitted from particular fruits and vegetables when they are ripening. The ethylene from the product environment or atmosphere is adsorbed by the Xtend`s innovative ingredient inside the patch, and thereby not allowing its propagation and slowing down the ripening process.

“Sustainability is very important to us and is reflected in the company values as we seek that our innovation is biodegradable, and made from all-natural chemicals unlike the synthetic alternatives found in the market,”
Rachel explains. Xtend`s patch is made of natural resources that are not scarce but are made from fruit and vegetable leftovers, so in other words they use waste to decrease waste. According to Naji, Xtend is the first mover for this type of innovation in the Lebanese and regional market. Their solution aims not only to help farmers but also exporters and any other entities producing and selling perishable goods, even the everyday consumers by extending the shelf life of the fresh products which will open market opportunities, both local and international. Furthermore, increasing the shelf life of fresh products allows Xtend’s customers to sell their product for a longer period of time and the consumers have a longer period of time for consumption. This in turn will decrease waste and increase food security. Xtend has started with climacteric fruits as their main target, as it is one of the most perishable type of fruits, but planning to expand to other fruits, vegetables and flowers in the near future. Right now, the start-up is working on obtaining certifications for organic compliancy.

Next steps at Xtend

As a next step, Xtend will be focusing on finalizing the product, selling locally as well as scaling up the production. The start-up is also open for accelerator programs and is currently participating in a 2-week exchange program with Startlife in the Netherlands, where they will discuss possible collaboration. In the future, Xtend is planning to expand on their range of products, moving towards biodegradable films, bags, packs that contain the same ingredient and will work on increasing shelf life of a wider range of products like fresh dairy products. With their innovative solution, Xtend who has joined the ISC3 Global Start-up Service in October 2021, is actively contributing to SDG 4 (zero hunger), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), and SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production).

If you are interested in our Start-up of the Month series or would like to learn more about our Global Start-up Service, please contact our Start-up Relations & Communications Manager Silvia Nikova.