While produce items aimed at the consumer have won the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award (FLIA) for the last three years running, for 2018 the list of nominees for the coveted prize may well reflect an industry shift towards improved back-end processes to improve production and sustainability.
The shortlist announced yesterday was chosen by a panel of experts from all levels of the produce trade, selected from more than 70 submissions, but the winner will be decided by votes from attendees at global fresh produce fair Fruit Logistica in Berlin on Feb. 7-9.
"The FLIA has become the global fresh produce industry's most important award," Fruit Logistica global brand manager Wilfried Wollbold (pictured in headline photo above) said in a release.
"It will be presented for the 13th time in 2018 and recognises outstanding innovations across the entire fresh produce supply chain, from production to the point of sale. The innovations can be products, services or technical innovations," he said.
Last year the award was won by Rijk Zwaan for its delayed pinking lettuce variety Knox, while in prior years winners included Spain's Genuine Coconut and the Aurora papaya from Israel's Aviv Flowers Packing House.
So the big question is, which of the following nominees will win the prestigious award. The result will largely be up to you, dear produce industry readers:
“Adora”, HM Clause, Spain
A firm, dark-brown Marmande tomato with an exceptionally balanced intense sweet-sour taste and an excellent shelf life.
“H2Hybrid”, H2Hydroponics, Spain
A patented nursery and irrigation system for hydroponic plant breeding using oxygen enrichment to reduce water consumption by up to 80% and energy consumption by up to 25%.
“In-field Laboratory for Agricultural Testing”, Croptimal, Israel
“LogoFrucht”, Kellermeister Manns, Germany
A process for printing on fruit and vegetables of any shape. Round objects can be accurately and individually printed with a neutral, water-resistant, high-contrast food colouring which is gentle on the product.
“Malver”, Turatti, Italy
An electromechanical system for the precise automatic peeling of all kinds of pitted and halved mangos with an average capacity of approximately 48 pieces per minute.
“Pook Coconut Chips”, PookSpaFoods, Germany
Tasty natural crisps made from fresh coconut with a unique taste, processed without oil or fat and available in Original Sea Salt, Mango Sea Salt and Chocolate Sea Salt varieties.
“Scheufelen Grass Paper – Greenliner“, Papierfabrik Scheufelen
Ecological packaging material made of up to 50% fresh grass fibre. The raw material base contributes to a sustainable reduction in energy and water consumption.
“The Alberts Smoothie Station”, Alberts powered by Greenyard, Belgium
A smoothie vending machine that prepares 100% natural smoothies from frozen fruits and vegetables based on the user’s own individual selection and recipe.
“Ulti-Mite Swirski”, Koppert Biological Systems, Netherlands
A compostable bag containing a breeding medium for the predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii developed for the biological control of thrips. Patent-pending.
“Wasabi Giftbox”, East4Fresh – Color2Food, Netherlands
A gift box made of untreated wood containing a fresh wasabi rhizome and a wasabi rasp. An additive-free umami adventure for the kitchen or dining table.