Following the successful introduction of their Akorn Natural™ coatings for mango and avocado in South America, Akorn Technology announces the expansion of their business in Africa.
With funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation, Akorn Technology has developed highly innovative edible coatings for fresh produce that integrate 100% natural plant proteins, lipids and essential oils to achieve functionalities never before possible. By managing moisture loss, respiration rate and color development, Akorn Natural™ coatings maintain the quality of highly perishable fruits and vegetables during extended cold storage and ocean transport. This enhanced functionality is ideal for highly perishable, globally produced crops — like apples, pears, mangos, avocados and stone fruits. Akorn coatings reduce production losses, allow more time for the product to be brought to retail and ensure a superior consumer experience.
Increasingly, fresh whole produce is processed into fresh-cut fruits and vegetables as a convenient and healthy snack option for consumers seeking nutritious choices. Suppliers of fresh-cut face numerous challenges that can significantly impact their operations and profitability. They must carefully manage inventory and distribution to ensure that the products reach consumers in optimal condition. Maintaining the delicate balance between supply and demand is challenging, as overestimating demand can lead to excessive waste, while underestimating demand results in missed opportunities and potential revenue loss.
Blue Skies is a major supplier of premium fresh-cut fruit to the UK retail market. The company believes in ‘Adding Value at Source’ and aims to make the finished product where the fruit is grown. Blue Skies sources mango in Ghana, Senegal and other countries in Africa. The fruit is harvested at its optimal maturity to ensure the best possible taste.
"We are committed to reducing waste” said Hugh Pile, CEO of Blue Skies, “but we are dealing with a highly sensitive and perishable fruit in mango and historically have faced challenges at shoulder seasons with dropping yields and increased waste. During peak harvest season we simply cannot process the entire volume and need to cold store some of the fruit for later processing. Due to the high perishability of mango, this results in significant waste. Our studies have shown that by applying Akorn coating, we can reduce waste by 30%, return more value to the communities that produce the fruit, and still deliver product with Fresh from Harvest taste.”
“We believe sustainability cannot be a zero-sum game. Producer economic interests and consumer satisfaction must go hand-in-hand with a healthy and thriving future for the planet. Our solutions prove that this approach is both possible and also immediately achievable” said Anthony Zografos, PhD, Founder and CEO. “We are very excited about our partnership with Blue Skies, and we are looking forward to continuing success.”