The groundbreaking It’sFresh! method, pioneered by Food Freshness Technology (FFT), involves inserting pads composed of a mixture of minerals and clay, which absorb ethylene gas, into packs of fruit.
Fruits naturally emit the gas, which is responsible for their premature ripening and decay during distribution.
Substantially more effective
FFT claims the It’sFresh! pads are substantially more effective than other materials and are easier to deploy. They are already used by retail chains including Waitrose and Marks & Spencer and are being rolled out in the EU and US.
Now new figures unveiled at the International Conference on Managing Quality in Chains 2013 at Bedford-based Cranfield University this week have confirmed the system cuts packaged strawberry waste in stores by half. The research also shows it boosts shelf-life by at least two days.
‘Potential to make a global difference’
“Our technology is a British innovation with the potential to make a global difference in the fresh produce industry,” said Simon Lee, It’sFresh! chief marketing officer.
“It’sFresh! has been shown to effectively remove ethylene throughout the whole supply chain, not only in strawberries and other berries, but also in tomatoes, avocados, stone fruit and pears.”
Chris Bishop, reader in Postharvest Technology at Writtle College at Chelmsford in Essex, and conference speaker, said: “The tests we have carried out showed unequivocally that It’sFresh! ethylene-removal technology extends product life by at least two more days.
“This benefits everyone in the supply chain, from grower to consumer, by reducing waste and boosting consumers’ confidence that they will get full employment and value from the produce they buy.”