Hazel Technologies Receives Second Phase Of USDA Grant
by Hazel Technologies, Inc.
Posted: 2017-10-24 09:00:53 EST

CHICAGO – Hazel Technologies, Inc., a USDA-supported company developing new shelf-life extension technologies for fresh produce, receives a second phase of funding from the USDA through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program based on results received in phase one of the three-phase program. With this $600,000 development grant, Hazel Technologies will be able to further its exploration into the export marketplace of fresh produce and enhance its technology to reduce food waste around the world.

In the pursuit of supporting small businesses looking to protect the environment and foster innovation, the SBIR program is highly competitive. Second-phase recipients are only eligible if they were awarded the first-phase and show signs of early stages of credibility amongst the industry. With recommendations from partners such as DFI Marketing, Inc., leading California grower-shipper, Hazel Technologies gained credibility and trust amongst the fresh produce industry as a promising solution. 

“The USDA awarded this grant based off endorsements from growers who have tested our technologies,” said Aidan Mouat, CEO and co-founder of Hazel Technologies. “Our early grower-packer partners have been able to reduce labor costs, increase grower returns, and access new markets with our products. We are humbled to be awarded this second-phase of funding from the USDA to further our research and expand our credibility.” 

Prior to this award, Hazel was previously a recipient of a $100,000 development grant from the USDA in 2016 to develop its Hazelâ„ suite of technologies. The Hazelâ„  product line is a suite of easy to apply packaging inserts for protecting post-harvest quality in fresh produce categories like tomato, melons, tree fruit, kiwi and avocado. 

“For small agricultural businesses, the federal government is a key, initial investor to help them get great ideas into the marketplace,” said NIFA director, Sonny Ramaswamy. “The feasibility and scalability of these business concepts are evaluated through our peer review process, and businesses get to keep their intellectual property rights as they commercialize their ventures.” 

The most recent funding will be used to generate more data with current trial partners, to conduct academic studies on performance, and to expand operations in a new office space in the Western Growers Association Innovation Center in Salinas, Calif. The brand is aligning with the Western Growers Innovation Center to provide its new crop quality technology as a solution to the issues identified by the industry.

“The Western Growers Innovation Center strives to foster innovation to address the most important grower issues like crop protection, labor supply, and water use,” said Dennis Donohue, consulting director of Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology at Western Growers Innovation Center. “We’re excited to have Hazel Technologies join our residents and continue to provide our industry with innovative solutions to help address these issues.”

For more information, please visit https://www.hazeltechnologies.com/ or email Pat Flynn at pat@hazeltechnologies.com.

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About Hazel Technologies, Inc.

Hazel Technologies Inc. is a USDA-supported company based in Chicago, IL. Hazel Technologies helps growers, packers, and shippers of produce extend the shelf-life of their fruits and vegetables, which reduces produce spoilage, can extend seasonal availability, and expand geographic markets. 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. For more information, please visit www.hazeltechnologies.com.

Source: Hazel Technologies, Inc.