Hazel tech successful on kiwifruit, according to new UC Davis and Oppy trial
A trail run on Hazel Technologies packaging solutions proved successful for kiwifruit, says Oppy. The USDA-funded technology that provides packaging solutions to extend shelf-life and combat food waste was used in a study with UC Davis and Oppy to see how the fruit would do post-harvest.
What researchers found was that Hazel's packaging maintained post-harvest characteristics like firmness and weight in golden and green variety kiwis. This means that Oppy's supply chain conditions could be improved by implementing the packaging on a larger scale.
Such news is notable as "maintaining optimal kiwifruit quality can be a challenge for suppliers and retailers," according to Ceo of Hazel Tech Aiden Mouat. The difficulty of ensuring a good post-harvest life for such a perishable item means that companies like Oppy search hard for the right solution.
So, Hazel Tech's partnership in the trail was a positive one for both. Lasting 27 days in total, the trail process involved periodically checking on the state of kiwis post-harvest to measure standard qualities.
Professor of plant sciences at UC Davis Dr. Barbara Blanco-Ulate said that in the trials, ‘Gold’ kiwifruit "had stronger skin when treated with Hazel regardless of the evaluation time point".
"There was a positive effect of Hazel in preventing weight loss of the ‘Green’ kiwifruit after most periods of cold storage,” she added.
Apart from its trail runs with UC Davis, Oppy's kiwi is showing overall higher-quality, what the company says is consistent with expectations for the season. One of the largest kiwi marketers in the U.S., Oppy sees more than 50 million boxes of fresh fruit pass through its supply chain every year.
“We are always evaluating potential innovative technologies that will allow us to continue to provide world-class quality fruit to our customers,” said Patricio Mendoza of Oppy.
“Our data shows consistently higher quality when using Hazel Tech in our kiwifruit supply chain. Based on these results, our plan is to expand the program.”
An array of fresh fruit and veggie distributors across the U.S. already use Hazel Tech to preserve the quality of their fruit - ranging from WP Produce and McAllen to Sweet Seasons LLC and Frieda's Specialty Produce.