Researchers have found that dry mist has a positive effect on peaches, grapes, nectarines, cauliflower, endive and asparagus. "This certainly makes me, as a business owner, enthusiastic", says Pieter-Jan van Gurp, owner of Plus Van Gurp. They have been using this kind of technology since 2013. He hopes chains stores will also start to do this. "Then the products arrive in a much better condition."
Pieter-Jan van Gurp, owner of Plus Van Gurp in Roosendaal is enthusiastic about the effects of dry mist
While on holiday in Spain and France, Pieter-Jan says he saw the misters above fruit and vegetable shelves in supermarkets. "In 2013, when I was improving my shop to the 'Plus Briljant' standard, I wanted to use this mist system to make the fruit and vegetables section extra special", says Pieter-Jan. Contronics installs the technology. When they approached him to be part of the Fresh Demo project, Pieter-Jan was immediately on board.
The difference between carrots, stored with (r) and without mist
Fresh Demo wants to show how dry mist technology can reduce food wastage. As much as 45 % of fruit and vegetable is thrown away. The research was done by a consortium of nine parties (from Univeg and Freshfel's fruit and vegetable sectors), subsidised by the European Union. The most important conclusion was that there was 25% less wastage using dry mist. This is a plus for environmental impact concerns.
Pieter-Jan van Gurp hands over the Fresh Demo report to Marieke Doolaard of the CBL
An important condition for the positive effects of the dry mist system is that the whole supply chain must implement it: post-harvest storage, during transportation, in the distribution centre and in the supermarket. The technology is available, but according to Contronics, supermarkets will have to convince the other suppliers in the chain to implement it. This is why they supplied the first copy of the Fresh Demo report to Marieke Doolaard, Sustainability Manager at the Dutch Food Retail Association (CBL). "This is a good example of how supermarkets can reduce food wastage", says Marieke.
Click here for Fresh Demo's clip
Click here for the time lapse results of the various tests
fltr: Pieter-Jan van Gurp (Plus Van Gurp), Eric Bakker (Fresh Demo Project Manager) and Rogier Klein Sprokkelhorst (Contronics)
Customers reactions are also important. A survey done in Plus Van Gurp shows that 80 % are positive about the mist. Customers like the look of it and remark that, at home, their products stay fresh for longer. Plus Van Gurp is one of the few supermarkets in the Netherlands to use this technology. According to Contronics, a couple of other retailers, Landwaart Culinair and De Gijsbrecht Groente, also use this technology.