Hazel Technologies Inc., a USDA-funded technology company delivering new technology solutions for fresh produce to extend shelf-life, increase sales, and fight food waste, has announced a partnership with Rio Rico, Arizona-based Grower Alliance, one of largest importers of melons from Mexico into the United States.
The partnership will focus on use of the Hazel™ for Melon packaging technology, a USDA-funded technology which works by reducing the respiration rate of melons following harvest, resulting in a longer shelf-life. The technology is designed for the fresh melon supply chain: a single Hazel™ sachet is placed in each box during the packing process, and protects melon quality during transit from the farm to retail shelves and eventually, to the end consumer.
"In our extensive testing, we found that the Hazel™ for melon technology resulted in a 45% longer shelf life with our honeydew melons and a vastly improved eating experience 21 days after harvest" said Luis Caballero, one of the Managing Members at Grower Alliance. Caballero and Jorge Quintero Jr. started Grower Alliance in 2007 along with Jorge Quintero Sr. The business has grown to supply over 100 retailers and distributors and is one of the largest Mexican honeydew melon importers in the US.
“Melons were one of the first crops that we saw a huge potential in for Hazel’s technologies and they are still a major focus area for us,” said Aidan Mouat, CEO at Hazel Technologies, Inc. “We are thrilled to continue this partnership with Jorge Jr., Jorge Sr. Luis, and the Grower Alliance team and help them continue to provide the highest quality melons to retailers and consumers alike.”
Founded in 2015, Hazel Tech® solutions revolve around the controlled release of active, shelf-life enhancing vapor from packaging materials. Hazel™ sachets are placed in boxes of bulk produce by packers soon after the time of harvest, extending the shelf-life of produce up to three times by slowing aging in produce and preventing decay. Hazel® patent-pending technologies have been tested by many of the country's top academic research programs including UC Davis, Cornell University, and Oregon State University.