U.S.-based biotechnology company Hazel Technologies has announced the successful completion of research trials with Cornell University to validate a new post-harvest quality technology for fresh pears.
Hazel Pear joins the USDA-supported company’s suite of technologies and is available to growers and packers during the 2018 U.S. pear season.
Hazel Technologies develops products in the form of packaging inserts that slow ripening of produce due to ethylene and use a blend of essential oils to reduce to inhibit microbial growth.
In a release, Hazel said overripe pears are fragile and a significant source of shrink, posing a “unique challenge” to growers, packers, and retailers.
Researchers at Cornell used Hazel Pear to extend shelf-life in a simulated retail environment longer than control pears. Shelf-life quality was measured by color, firmness, and flavor.
“Growers and packers want to see third-party data on new products from trusted academic institutions,” Hazel COO and co-founder Adam Preslar said.
“The project with Cornell University, an institution highly respected by the pome fruit industry, has already caught the attention of some of the largest pear brands in the industry.”
The trials of Hazel Pear were conducted under the leadership of Cornell University professor, Dr. Christopher Watkins who specializes in postharvest research studies with a focus in tree fruit.
Watkins and the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) program specializes in post-harvest research studies with a focus in tree fruit, and is one of the world’s leading institutions in researching the commercial use of 1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) on pome fruit.
Watkins and his group found that D’Anjou pears treated with Hazel Pear had three-times longer shelf life and 95% internal color retention following three weeks of treatment.