According to USApple, the United States grows about 11.1 billion pounds of apples every year, making it the second largest apple producer in the world. The industry spans from coast to coast and is highly fragmented between a handful of large producers and thousands of small and mid-size orchards who are required to remain agile with their space and labor supply during the time-sensitive postharvest period.
Across the U.S., Hazel Technologies, Inc.’s Hazel 100™ bin sachets have become a versatile and reliable solution for these small, midsize, and even larger growers and cold storage operators. Users of the product rely on the Hazel 100™ sachet to not only apply fruit-protecting 1-MCP to their apples, but also to gain the elusive advantage of “flexibility” during postharvest – when unexpected challenges against a rigid timeline can have significant consequences.
Previously, small-to-mid-sized growers felt hamstrung by either a lack of storage space where they could traditionally seal and fumigate their apples with 1-MCP or the inability to treat fruit with 1-MCP when cold storage receiving slows down. Now, with the implementation of Hazel 100™ technology, a controlled atmosphere room isn’t even required and the speed of fruit at receiving is not a concern. Regardless of storage location, Hazel 100™ can simply be dropped into a bin of apples, where it immediately starts releasing 1-MCP – delaying fruit respiration and helping it maintain its firmness and overall quality.
“We have about 200 acres of apples, so quality is obviously important in all aspects of our wholesale and retail business,” said Joe Burnham, owner of Berlin Heights, OH-based Burnham Orchards, “One thing we have done over the past couple of years is use the Hazel 100 bin sachet. It’s definitely been an asset in how we manage storage and quality of the fruit at storage and after. Gala is a variety that benefits greatly by using the sachets and we’ve seen great effect putting sachets in with Golden Delicious. We’re extremely impressed with the effect Hazel 100 has had on our quality.”
“The Hazel 100 bin sachet is so easy when you have many varieties,” said Gregg Bachman, owner of Carroll, OH-based Bachman’s Sunny Hill Fruit Farm, “I don’t need to isolate the apples or put them in a separate room, and I can move apples in and out without affecting the 1-MCP treatment. The time release means my apples are constantly being treated with the time-release technology.”
“There are many apple growers, especially on the East Coast and in the Midwest, who do not have the space to use traditional controlled atmosphere applications of 1-MCP,” said Eli Cannell, AgTech Account Executive at Hazel Technologies, “I have seen the Hazel 100 bin sachet completely transform the postharvest success of a grower by giving them the additional time 1-MCP provides apples, especially in smaller storage rooms that hold multiple varieties at once or even hallways when storage gets tight. It’s really levelling the playing field for growers.”