Berry and stone fruit marketing organisation Berry Gardens has signed an arrangement with technology company Anacail to exclusively use their ozone technology for berries, cherries and plums in the UK.
Berry Gardens CEO, Jacqui Green, said, “This technology is game changing in our industry, using ozone, a proven sterilant, to reduce the presence of yeasts and moulds. This means extended shelf life, reduced waste and a better product for our consumer. We are thrilled to be working with Anacail and our businesses are closely aligned in our ambition to ensure the best berries, cherries and plums are available to our consumers across the breadth of the retail sector.”
Anacail, which is a venture capital backed SME spin-out from the Astrophysics Department at Glasgow University, specialises in creating and handling ozone in revolutionary, safe and flexible ways. Its key technology allows the generation of ozone (an activated form of oxygen), inside sealed packages, without damaging or opening the package.
Anacail’s CEO, Ian Muirhead commented, “We are delighted to sign this collaboration with Berry Gardens, a major player and leading innovator in their sector. It is a major milestone for Anacail in bringing our innovative technology to market.”
Photo Caption: Anacail’s F-LC2-250 in-pack ozone machine.
Photo Credit: Anacail Ltd
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A new filter which absorbs and locks in ethylene in enclosed spaces, such as retail packaging, could revolutionise the shelf life of fresh produce according to the company behind it.
Figures from tech company It’s Fresh! claim their filter inserts are now saving 1,134 tonnes of strawberries each year; the equivalent of almost three million punnets, or forty times the number of strawberries eaten at Wimbledon every summer. The green and white stripy filters are now being used by supermarkets including M&S, Morrisons, and Waitrose.
Simon Lee, co-founder of It’s Fresh! said, “Wasting food really does waste everything – Water, labour, energy, time and money. Many of us know that over a third of the food produced globally gets wasted, but what you might not know is that it takes almost half a gallon of water to grow one strawberry, add to that the labour & fuel to pick, pack, ship and process it for retail merchandising ….and you can begin to see the scale of the problem that we face.”
Photo Credit: It’s Fresh!
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A Californian company, Apeel Sciences, is developing a new naturally-derived post harvest coating which will keep produce fresher for longer and help reduce waste.
Edipeel is entirely invisible, tasteless and edible. When it is applied to the surface of plants, it provides a protective layer that reduces the oxidation and transpiration that cause produce to wither and become discoloured. The product itself is made from vegetable waste.
In an interview, James Rogers, CEO and founder of Apeel, explained that while the product, which has been approved by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is distributed as a powder in packets, it is applied as a dip or a spray. ““We rip [the packets]open…and then we reconstitute them in liquid form. In that liquid form, we can then dip fresh produce in that solution or spray that solution onto a surface of a piece of produce. When it dries, it leaves behind this imperceptibly thin barrier of plant material on the outside of the produce,” he said.
The company has raised $40 million to develop the technology and is also working on a pre-harvest version to reduce pesticide use.
Photo Credit: Apeel Sciences
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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in Beltsville, Maryland, and Salinas, California have studied various peppers in an attempt to identify attributes which can prolong their shelf life after being cut.
The team looked at 50 varieties of sweet bell peppers, large elongated peppers, jalapeno, and Serrano to discover those that can stand up to prolonged cold storage. Fresh-cut sweet bell and elongated peppers exhibited signs of deterioration, such as fluid leakage, after 10 to 14 days of storage, whereas jalapeno and Serrano peppers didn’t lose fluids until 14 days of storage. Fluid leakage is undesirable as it causes peppers to lose firmness and marketability.
The team found that some varieties of each type showed exceptional fluid maintenance, meaning the fruit stayed firm and didn’t exhibit tissue breakdown. The researchers say that the results provide opportunities for plant breeders to incorporate attributes that contribute to fresh-cut quality into new varieties that will benefit the food industry and consumers.
Associated work is also studying lettuces, and scientists have found several genetic markers that will allow lettuce breeders to confer a longer shelf life to cut lettuce.
Photo Credit: jphotostyle.com
The post US scientists assess fresh cut produce characteristics appeared first on Hort News on 6 January 2016.
Tesco says that a new initiative to remove a food packing stage in the journey from farm to fork will mean that customers will benefit from salads and citrus fruit that will stay fresh for up to two extra days.
The foods covered by the initiative include imported lettuce; tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli and celery. As part of its ongoing programme to tackle food waste Tesco looked at its supply chain to identify ways of working directly with producers to speed up the process by which freshly picked produce arrives in store. It found that as a result of advancements in packing and storage it was now possible to ship produce directly from European suppliers to Tesco stores, cutting the amount of time spent in transit which means getting produce to customers faster, and therefore fresher.
Tesco Group Food Commercial Director Matt Simister said, “For millions of our customers this move will mean having up to an extra two days in which to enjoy some of the most popular fruit and vegetables. The extra days of freshness will particularly benefit customers who are pressed for time and will mean they are less likely to throw away food.”
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A novel way to extend the shelf life of leafy crops including lettuce, cabbage, celery, spinach and parsley has been presented at the recent 19th Agritech Israel exhibition in Tel Aviv.
Invented by Dr. Rivka Elbaum of Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences in Rehovot and being brought to market by the University’s Yissum technology transfer company, they system uses a solution into which the produce is dipped, which then delays deterioration of the produce.
Yissum CEO Yaacov Michlin said, “The novel method invented by Dr. Elbaum is a simple, low-cost solution for delaying senescence in leafy greens, thereby increasing their shelf life. The method, which has been tested on lettuce, could considerably increase the profitability of leafy greens, which comprise a large fraction of the fresh vegetable market.”
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