Novozymes and AgroFresh form partnership to unlock the potential of biotechnology to fight food waste

Recently, Novozymes and AgroFresh decided to form a research and commercialization partnership aimed at developing biological solutions that can improve post-harvest food quality and minimize waste by fighting fungal pathogens. This is a partnership between two companies that share the same values, and promises to be fruitful. AgroFresh’s Chief Technology Officer, Duncan Aust shares some highlights of the partnership.

"Novozymes and AgroFresh both share an unwavering commitment to sustainability and are dedicated to conserving the planet’s resources, reducing food waste and maintaining fruit and vegetable quality. As the demands on global agriculture keep increasing, this partnership will help to solve some of the industry’s most pressing pest control challenges with much less environmental impact. We anticipate the development of new solutions that will be accelerated by the combination of advanced biotechnologies from Novozymes, and AgroFresh’s deep scientific expertise in post-harvest, global commercial footprint and full portfolio of solutions to help maintain freshness and quality of fruits, vegetables and flowers."

Committed to Preventing Food Waste: One of AgroFresh’s core values
As an innovator and a leader in the post-harvest industry, preventing food waste has always been, and still is today, central to the company’s mission: "Around one third of food produced is lost or wasted before it even gets to the consumer, with fruits and vegetables accounting for over half of this amount. At AgroFresh, we will continue to focus on innovation and the development of customized solutions that help our customers address unmet needs across the food supply chain. Sustainability is at the core of what we do in service to our customers." 

"Twenty years ago, we revolutionized the fruit and produce industry with the introduction of SmartFresh™, which is now being used in over 25,000 fruit storage rooms worldwide. Today, ensuring the health of our planet and protecting the food we grow has never been more urgent a charge. We remain more committed than ever to our mission to meet the world’s need for fresh, safe and abundant produce while reducing our impact on the environment. AgroFresh’s partnership with Novozymes will pioneer the use of biological solutions in the post-harvest sector to reduce food loss and waste and help improve the quality of our food system overall."  

A partnership that will work to develop biocontrol products
To combat waste, post-harvest technologies are applied either immediately before harvest or after harvest throughout the supply chain. New solutions will benefit growers, packers and retailers.

"These products are formulated to be used in a variety of different applications (waxes, coatings, mists, dips, etc.) to help control the post-harvest decay of fresh produce due to fungal growth, and to help improve quality, freshness and extend shelf life during storage and transport from field to the retail shelf. Together with Novozymes, we will work to develop biological solutions to control pests such as insects, fungi, bacteria or weeds. There are a diverse number of biocontrol products including microorganisms, microbial derived actives (such as metabolites and biochemistry), plant extracts and other types of natural products. Biocontrol is attractive because biological products generally pose much less environmental impact and lower risk to beneficial species, such as honeybees." 

"In addition, reducing post-harvest losses of already produced food is much more sustainable than increasing production to compensate for those losses."

A new global innovation center in Chile: a strategic decision
In addition to this new partnership, AgroFresh just opened a new global innovation center in Chile. A strategic decision: "The Rancagua global innovation center is one of AgroFresh’s seven such centers on four continents in key fruit growing regions including Chile which exports more than 2.6 million tons of fruit annually to more than 100 countries. Chile is also at the forefront of adopting new technology and crop production practices, and was the first to successfully commercialize SmartFresh™, AgroFresh’s leading ethylene management solution more than 20 years ago." 

"The center will allow customers throughout the Latin American region to tap into the problem-solving expertise and capabilities of AgroFresh’s scientific and operational experts who are dedicated to helping them improve pathogen protection, maintain fruit and vegetable quality, extend shelf life and minimize post-harvest loss and waste. This innovation center will also serve as a global hub for innovation for AgroFresh allowing for research to be conducted year-round even when the northern hemisphere is not in the fruit season."  

"The global hub will be home to some of the world’s foremost post-harvest research and development scientists who will continue to focus on leading produce freshness solutions such as SmartFresh, Harvista™, ActiMist™ and digital solutions, such as and FreshCloud™. In addition, the center will support the Control-Tec™ ECO application equipment which has helped cherry customers in Chile reduce water usage by up to 60% during the packing process."  

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