Plus Van Gurp enthusiastic about dry mist system

Mist keeps fruit and vegetables fresher for longer

Even if it has taken three days to transport strawberries from Spain to the Netherlands, they can still be fresh and juicy when they reach the consumer. That is, if they end up on Plus Van Gurp's shelves and they are part of the Fresh Demo project.

Fresh Demo strawberries lose 72 % less moisture, have a 20 % longer shelf life, have a better taste and smell, a greener crown, a higher vitamin content (+ 4,4%) and a higher polyphenol content (+25%) in comparison to strawberries that are transported through the supply chain in the conventional manner. The secret? 'Dry mist'.

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.

Dry mist might seem to be a waste of water and energy, but the opposite is, in fact, true. The Denmark University of Technology has calculated that even a slight decrease of fruit and vegetable wastage has a positive effect on the environment. Less wastage means less greenhouse emissions and less water usage. The mist also has a natural cooling effect that saves energy. Fresh Demo reports that they have calculated that the mist technology can mean a profit for the supermarket from day one as the revenue potential is 40 euros per day.

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. 

For more information:
Plus Van Gurp
Pieter-Jan van Gurp
Tolbergcentrum 172
4708 HK Roosendaal
T: +31(0)165-563770

Rogier Klein Sprokkelhorst
Ambachtsweg 8
5492 NJ Sint-Oedenrode
T: +31(0)413-487000

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