Hazel Technologies Inc., a USDA-funded technology company delivering new solutions for the fresh produce industry to extend shelf-life, increase sales, and fight food waste, announced a new partnership with Reedley, CA-based Kliewer Farms, a grower of California kiwifruit, stone fruit, and table grapes.
The partnership focuses on the use of Hazel™ for kiwi to ensure post-harvest quality. The technology, whose development has been funded in-part by the USDA, is a small biodegradable sachet, placed in the box during packing, which reduces the sensitivity of kiwifruit to ethylene, resulting in longer shelf life and less food waste. Hazel Tech® manufactures sachets for both organic and conventional kiwi, providing growers, shippers, and retailers with compliance flexibility.
According to the University of California-Davis, kiwifruit has an extremely high sensitivity to ethylene. Even extremely low quantities of ethylene, which the kiwifruit itself produces following harvest, induce rapid softening. Following trials last season, Kliewer observed that kiwifruit protected by Hazel Tech® retained their firmness significantly longer than unprotected control fruit.
“Traditionally we can store our kiwifruit 3-4 months, but with Hazel Tech we have observed storage capabilities of 6-7 months,” commented Jerin Kliewer, General Manager at Kliewer Farming, “It only takes three seconds to put Hazel Tech in the box, but we get 3 additional months of shelf life out of it.” Kliewer Farming was founded in 1985 and has over three hundred acres of kiwi production in the state of California.
Right: Jerin Kliewer.
“Kiwifruit is growing in popularity globally and as a result more volume is being planted in major production areas like California,” said Aidan Mouat, CEO, Hazel Technologies, “Despite this growth, one major challenge with kiwifruit is the extremely high ethylene sensitivity following harvest. The goal of Hazel Technologies is to enable growers, packers, and retailers of kiwifruit to better meet their customers growing demand for delicious kiwifruit by helping ensure the best possible eating experience and least possible food waste.”
Right: Aidan Mouat.