AgriCoat NatureSeal offers solutions for maintaining shelf life in across a broad range of sectors of the fresh produce industry.
"Our Semperfresh family of products are edible coatings, developed from plant-based ingredients designed to maintain quality and shelf life in traditional, whole fruits and vegetables. These products can be viewed in a similar way as fruit waxes, only they create odourless, tasteless invisible films around the produce; slowing respiration and delaying ripening," Simon Matthews, Director AgriCoat NatureSeal Ltd.
"We also offer washes designed for decontaminating whole fresh produce. Typically, these are used for washing leafy crops such as spinach and watercress as well as onions and carrots. Many of our fresh cut processors use FS to clean whole fruits before transferring produce into high care. This includes our First Step wash permitted for washing organic produce and new wash developed especially for washing grapes and berries. Finally, our NatureSeal products; based on proprietary blends of vitamins and minerals, are used to maintain shelf life in fresh cut and prepared, ready to eat fruits and vegetables."
NatureSeal belongs to a multinational corporation and within the group they also supply other sectors of the food industry including confectionery, beverages and bakery.
"Our fun, flavoured fruit concept was born from a fusion of our products for shelf life and some of our flavoured confectionery developments. It has been promoted at a number of trade shows. Although these generate great interest, I feel they are only ever going to be a novelty category rather than mainstream."
The concept has been picked up in a few places. Flavoured fruits have been launched in a couple of European countries, in Portugal and in Italy.
"In the UK, we introduced the concept at the Lunch! Tradeshow in London. The concept drew the attention of the national press and so far, favoured fruits have rolled out in a couple of UK supermarkets and convenience stores. Mostly the products have been introduced around a certain theme or celebration. Most notably one of our clients had success with “spooky flavoured apples” at Halloween. At the moment we have been experimenting with adding flavour to a variety of fruits and vegetables – it is true that apples pick up the flavour very well, but we have added novelty flavours also to mango and pineapple chunks."
Many of AgriCoat Nature Seal's customers are dependent on supplying prepared produce to food service outlets including hotels, pubs and restaurants and QSFR outlets. With so many people now working from home, the high streets and transport hubs have fallen silent and the normal demand from office workers for snacks, fruit pots and sandwiches has fallen away.
"We saw this affect at home and across Europe. Innovation however is the hallmark of many of our customers and many companies have adapted to get through this challenge. Already with lockdown measures easing, we are seeing signs of a recovery. May is getting busier and looking ahead June is looking even better."