Akorn Technology has announced another new investor, Future Food Fund 1, the corporate venture capital investment arm of Oisix ra daichi Inc. This new partnership is set to further advance development of Akorn’s groundbreaking natural, plant-derived food coatings platform, which has been successfully deployed in Europe, Latin America, and North America and is approved for use on such produce as avocados and mangoes, apples and pears, peaches and plums, and citrus.
This new partnership will aim to improve supplies of high-quality fresh produce to the Japanese market, with particular focus on imported crops that are in high demand – such as avocados and mangoes – but pose supply chain challenges due to long transit times from distant suppliers.
Akorn coatings are well on their way to revolutionizing clean-label shelf-life extension because they more than double the shelf life of a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables using only plant-derived ingredients without added chemicals. The potential for this innovation to benefit growers, packhouses, retailers, and consumers is immense, given that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that over 40% of fresh produce goes to waste and the global costs of food wastage and post-harvest loss amount to about $2.6 trillion USD per year. Akorn’s approach to managing produce quality both reduces waste and provides the ability of the supply chain to extend fresh produce to the world’s many “food deserts.”
The Akorn coating base is formulated from a non-GMO corn milling by-product and includes three natural active ingredients that control ripening speed, reduce moisture loss, and preserve color. The coatings provide optimal delivered quality and freshness from harvest to table. Additional functionality such as natural antimicrobials and fungicides can be incorporated, as needed. The coating is applied using conventional equipment and is easily implemented in existing packinghouse operations.
Akorn CEO, Anthony Zografos, understands the importance of excellence within Japan’s fresh produce market, noting “consumers in Japan are known to expect top quality and exceptional taste and appearance, without harmful chemical residues. We are confident that Akorn coatings meet, and in fact exceed, expectations. Partnering with Future Food Fund is an exciting opportunity to develop alliances with key stakeholders so we can demonstrate the many benefits of Akorn coatings to the crops of interest to Japan’s market.”
In a Future Food Fund statement, investors are looking forward to working with Akorn to leverage the benefits of adding a new food preservation technology to its portfolio. This provides the opportunity for making new – or popular but currently limited – food crops more available, which can revitalize local markets and associated market sectors.
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