Hazel Technologies Inc., a USDA-funded technology company delivering new packaging solutions for fresh produce to extend shelf-life, increase sales, and combat food waste, announced the successful completion of two separate successful supply chain trials with the University of California, Davis and and global produce grower, marketer and distributor Oppy on kiwifruit.
UC Davis researchers found that Hazel Tech® packaging can maintain post-harvest characteristics such as firmness and weight in green and golden kiwi varieties in standard supply chain conditions. In a separate study, quality personnel at Oppy™ observed consistent positive results on shelf life after commercially testing Hazel™ with kiwifruit.
Right: Aidan Mouat, CEO of Hazel Technologies.
The UC Davis trial was conducted on two varieties of kiwi: green “Hayward” kiwi and gold “Soreli” kiwi. Hazel™ packaging inserts were placed with kiwi following packing. The fruit was then stored for a total trial length of up to 47 days. Kiwifruit were periodically assessed by a team of researchers for standard quality traits such as firmness and weight.
“In our trials, ‘Gold’ kiwifruit had stronger skin when treated with Hazel™ regardless of the evaluation time point,” said Dr. Barbara Blanco-Ulate, Professor at the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. “There was a positive effect of Hazel™ in preventing weight loss of the ‘Green’ kiwifruit after most periods of cold storage.”
Right: Dr. Barbara Blanco-Ulate.
In addition to trials with UC Davis, kiwifruit received this season by leading global kiwifruit marketer Oppy showed consistently higher quality with Hazel™ packaging. With more than 50 million boxes of fresh produce passing through its inventory annually, Oppy is one of the largest kiwi marketers in the US.
“We are always evaluating potential innovative technologies that will allow us to continue to provide world-class quality fruit to our customers,” said Patricio Mendoza, National Quality Manager, US & Canada at Oppy. “Our data shows consistently higher quality when using Hazel Tech® in our kiwifruit supply chain. Based on these results, our plan is to expand the program.”
Right: Patricio Mendoza.
“Maintaining optimal kiwifruit quality can be a challenge for suppliers and retailers,” said Aidan Mouat, CEO of Hazel Technologies, “We are truly excited to partner with a leading global kiwi brand in Oppy and a leading kiwi research institution in UC Davis to join in our mission to reduce costly waste in the kiwifruit supply chain and increase sales for the category.”