The organization, which sells products for a range of processed fruit and vegetables, says the antioxidant called O Plus Ultra-7 can boost bananas’ shelf life by eight to 10 days without using preservatives, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or harmful substances.
Speaking to www.freshfruitportal.com, technical sales director Benjamin Singh said the company had begun developing the product earlier this year amid growing requests from clients.
“We’ve always received enquiries by people asking about bananas, and recently that demand had been increasing,” he said.
“We saw that there was nothing on the market, not even a compound, so we decided to develop our own product. Current antioxidants on the market were not able to handle these sensitive fruits until now.”
Singh explained that FOOD freshly developed O Plus Ultra-7 by carrying out research with products it already sold to treat other fruit and vegetables.
“We took our entire product range, and started doing tests with things like different concentrations, different blending ratios, new ingredients. Some worked well, others did not, and over time we got closer and closer to a result,” he said.
As O Plus Ultra-7 was developed from existing products, it is already fully compliant with European, U.S. and Canadian food safety legislation.
The treatment is applied as an aqueous solution in which the bananas are dipped for one or two minutes immediately after processing.
Natural banana flavours are preserved following treatment, while structure and colour are retained without becoming soft, Singh said.
Processors do not need to use modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) or other special cost-adding packaging.
Singh said FOOD freshly’s clients were already sampling the new product, and he expected it to be rolled out in markets around the world very soon.
“We’ve already been receiving lots of interest from all over the globe,” he said.
“Our main markets will probably be the ones we already sell our products in, so Europe and North America. They are the leading markets for fresh-cut, and they have the most technologically advanced companies.
“There are lots of big companies that want to add fresh-cut bananas to their range.”