Founded in 2015 with a mission to reduce food waste globally by extending shelf-life, the technology of Hazel® has since then found its way into many companies and produce categories. In just five short years, more than 160 growers, packers, and retailers of fresh produce use Hazel Tech® products in their supply chain. “We are involved in extending the shelf-life of avocados, peaches, cherries, mangos, kiwifruit, apples, and more,” says Pat Flynn with Hazel Technologies. More recently, in 2019, the company started trials with grapes. “Grapes are a 28.3M ton segment that we are able to make a meaningful difference in around the globe. Worldwide growing regions exporting via long-distance transit, means sometimes grapes spend weeks on the water before reaching the customer,” Flynn added.
Pat Flynn is pictured right.
Stem quality protection
Within the grape segment, the primary result of using Hazel’s technology is stem quality protection. “By applying our technology, the grape stems (also known as rachis) retain their green color and turgidity for a longer period of time.” Maintaining healthy stems for longer is important because stem appearance is the number one factor that helps consumers consider how fresh the grapes are.
Since Hazel’s headquarters are located in the US, most of the company’s research and product development has occurred domestically. However, when it comes to trials, the company is planning commercial activity in most of the major grape producing regions of the world, including the US, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Turkey, the European Union, and South Africa. Hazel works with renowned academic institutions and global research centers to trial their technologies. In the case of grapes, Hazel worked with research centers to prove the efficacy of the technology in top selling grape varieties like Autumn King, Autumn Splendor, Timpson and Magenta.
Grape partnership in Peru
Just recently, Hazel announced a grape partnership with MIGIVA Group, one of the largest diversified farming groups in Latin America. Their agricultural division AgroMIGIVA comprises over 25,000 acres of prime farming land and multiple state-of-the-art processing plants in Peru, Uruguay, and the US. For MIGIVA, the first results of working with the technology from Hazel are very positive. “Based on our trial results, we believe that Hazel favors the grapes post-harvest,” says Eduardo Mazzini, General Manager of MIGIVA Group. “The fruit keeps fresher for longer and the stems look greener. It is as if the grapes were just harvested. This is key for us as the condition of the stems is a known indicator of freshness in grapes,” he added.
Hazel’s technology that is used for grapes has been academically validated, is funded by the USDA, and more importantly, is very easy to use. “It’s just a matter of placing the Hazel Tech sachet in the box at the time of packing.”