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The benefit of applying shelf-life extension coating to avocados in country of origin

In 2020, Total Exotics – ripener of avocados and mangos - started a partnership with Liquidseal to extend the shelf life of their avocados. “We were interested in extending shelf life as well as reducing food waste,” said Anneke Bouman with Total Exotics. “Initial conversations and testing took place in 2019 and we officially started our partnership last year,” she added.

Liquidseal has developed a liquid coating that can be applied in two different ways. The coating can be sprayed on the product, or the product can be immersed in the coating. Total Exotics has chosen to apply the coating in the country of origin, prior to the avocados starting the long journey to their final destination. “Applying in the country of origin offers a huge added value,” says Victor Monster with Liquidseal. “The earlier the coating is applied, the better the results. By applying in the country of origin, Total Exotics is fully utilizing the benefits of the coating, maximizing shelf-life extension opportunities. This truly makes them stand out from other importers,” he commented.

Reassurance during long transit times
“With long transit times from South America to Europe, we feel applying the coating in country of origin is key,” continued Bouman. “The journey is often two to three weeks, but sometimes our product is on the water for four weeks. During times like these with logistics being unpredictable, it gives us reassurance the product will still arrive in excellent condition.”

Applying the coating is optional for Total Exotics’ suppliers. Although the company encourages their suppliers to apply the coating by providing it at no additional charge, they still have a choice. “Because it requires minor extra handling and limited investment, most of our suppliers recognize the benefit and are eager to use the coating on their product. This holds particularly true for suppliers we’ve been working with for a long time,” said Bouman. Due to the success, Total Exotics is currently in the process of liquidsealing 100 percent of the avocados the company ships out of Colombia and Peru.”

Avocados being immersed in Liquidseal.

Quality assurance remains critical
Although Liquidseal’s coating is proven to extend shelf life, Monster admits that it doesn’t provide a magic cure. After applying the coating, it is still key to treat the avocados like they would normally be treated. “Quality control throughout the supply chain will continue to be as critical as without the coating,” Monster said. “If quality control remains unchanged, we are seeing a longer shelf-life. This hopefully results in consumers throwing away less food as the majority of food waste occurs at the consumer level.”

Scandinavia is frontrunner
At the moment, Scandinavia is the frontrunner when it comes to offering Liquidseal avocados. “We work with COOP supermarkets in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden but are also looking to expand into the UK, Ireland, and Germany,” Bouman said. Not only is consumption of avocados very high in Scandinavia, the countries in this part of Europe are also very forward-thinking when it comes to sustainability. She is hopeful more countries will follow their example.

Total Exotics started using Liquidseal on avocados, its largest product by far. However, due the successful results, the company is looking to expand into the mango category once the Brazilian and Peruvian mango seasons start. In addition to avocados, Liquidseal offers coatings for mangos as well as papayas, melons, and citrus. Expansion into fruit is a more recent venture as the company originally started in 2005 with shelf-life extension coatings for lily bulbs and roses.

Mango being sprayed with Liquidseal.

Click below to see a video about the partnership between Liquidseal and Total Exotics. Subtitles are available in four different languages.

For more information:
Victor Monster
Liquidseal Fruits BV
Tel: +31(0)71 3014314

Anneke Bouman
Total Exotics BV
Tel: +31 (0)180 644 040

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