Overview of technologies to enhance kiwi quality preharvest and postharvest

Hazel Tech® is committed to improving fresh produce quality, reducing waste, and increasing sales from seed to shelf. In recent years, the company has developed technologies for different commodities in the fresh produce industry. One fruit featured in Hazel’s product range is kiwi fruit. “We started working in the kiwi sector in 2020 with postharvest technologies, Hazel 100™ and Hazel O™,” says Mario Cervantes, Director of Business Development AgTech at Hazel®. In addition, the company also commercially launched a preharvest technology that optimizes budbreak and king flower.

Preharvest: improving budbreak and flowering
Hazel Trex™ preharvest technology launched commercially in 2020 and is designed to improve kiwifruit orchard performance and increase orchard efficiency. Hazel Trex™ provides guidance to growers on the best timing for orchard management practices. “Noted benefits have been the optimization of orchard practices to improve budbreak and flowering results on traditional Hayward and “Gold” kiwifruit orchards,” said Cervantes. “Grower block trials indicated that king flower production increased by approximately 15 percent in Hayward when using Hazel Trex™.”

Dwayne Farrington, Technical Manager at Farmlands Co-Op in New Zealand, believes Hazel Trex™ technology will effect a true paradigm shift in kiwifruit orchard management. “It employs the latest genetic sequencing technology to ensure accurate forecasting,” he commented. “Given the depth of our co-operative’s technical kiwifruit expertise, we are well placed to distribute this technology to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.”

Postharvest: keeping fruit firmer and extending shelf-life
Hazel 100, the company’s flagship product, is one of two postharvest solutions offered for kiwis. According to the University of California-Davis, kiwifruit has an extremely high sensitivity to ethylene. Even extremely low quantities of ethylene, which the kiwifruit itself produces following harvest, induce rapid softening. “Kiwifruit protected by Hazel Tech® maintain firmness significantly longer than unprotected control fruit,” Cervantes commented.

Alternatively, the company offers OMRI-certified Hazel O™ as a postharvest solution for both organic and conventional growers. Hazel O™ absorbs ethylene in the air with an easy-to-use application. Hazel O™ helps kiwis maintain color and firmness, particularly during long-distance transit.

Expansion into EMEA region
To date, Hazel’s efforts in the kiwi category have been concentrated in some of the world’s main growing countries, including New Zealand, Chile, and the US. “However, we aspire to expand our suite of products to support growers around the globe. Specifically for the kiwi segment, we have great interest to explore opportunities in the EMEA region,” shared Cervantes. “Top kiwi producing countries like Italy, Turkey, France, and Greece all have prime growing regions where we believe our technologies can make a significant impact in improving farming practices and reducing food waste.”

Virtual event
On June 29th (June 30th in New Zealand), Hazel Tech will be hosting a virtual event on preharvest and postharvest technologies to support the kiwi industry. The event will feature a panel of growers who will share their perspectives. In addition, new quality solutions will be discussed.

For more information:
Jaime Kedrowski
Hazel Technologies
Tel: +1 (559) 321-2146

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