Blueberries Season Could be Longer Thanks to This Technology, Trials Suggest

Blueberry harvesting is the full swing in Northern Hemisphere. The blue fruits business in both hemispheres may soon have an innovative tool for extending seasonality and reducing food waste. The results of trials conducted on blueberries after using innovative technology with a patented 1-MCP delivery system indicated a slower ripening effect. Treated blueberries kept very good eating quality and firmness for the full 49 days of the test.

The global blueberry market was valued at over $8 billion (according to IndexBox in 2021). It is expected to grow and reach 2.3 million tons by 2030. The forecast for the growth of the blueberry business is optimistic, but the industry has to face some challenges. Seasonality for fresh fruits is one of them. Can we “buy” more time for blueberry producers? 

“Research underscores the potential of the Vidre+™ technology, which can bring time management flexibility and the ability to deliver fresher blueberries across extended supply chain routes. The technology has demonstrated a positive impact on freshly harvested blueberries, which is marked by reduced weight loss, improved overall quality, extended fruit firmness, and better retention of essential elements like Vitamin C and antioxidants.” says Tim Malefyt, Ph.D., CTO at Fresh Inset.

Vidre+™ technology is a patented system for 1-MCP to begin release 1-2 hours after packaging and gradually release within the packaging itself over 30 hours via a simple-to-use sticker. The release of the product is triggered by humidity within the packaged product. This cutting-edge technology can now protect ethylene – a gas and natural plant hormone that plays an important role both in ripening and fruit softening/degradation. It is already used in Argentina and is awaiting regulatory approval in key food production markets including the Americas. 

The trials were commissioned by Fresh Inset and led by Dorota Wichrowska, Ph.D., from the University of Science and Technology in Poland during the summer season of 2022. Results have demonstrated the impact of Vidre+™ technology on blueberries.  

Blueberries treated with 1-MCP Vidre+™ stickers lost less weight and kept better eating quality and firmness for a longer time compared to untreated ones. 

  • Throughout the test period, treatments with Vidre+™  exhibited a 2-3% reduction in weight loss compared to the untreated group. 
  • Treated fruits maintained excellent eating quality throughout 35 days of the experiment and kept very good eating quality for the full 49 days of the test.
  • Untreated fruits began to soften after 21 days vs. after 35 days for treated fruit.
  • After 28 days in cold storage, treated blueberries had 83% more Vitamin C and 33% higher antioxidant levels

About Fresh Inset

Fresh Inset S.A. (joint-stock company) is a food- tech from Toruń, Poland founded in 2017 by scientists from Synthex Technologies and developed by an international team that consists of a group of experienced scientists, agronomists, engineers, packaging sector experts, and IP lawyers around the globe, in such countries as the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Poland. The company has developed and patented a unique Vidre+TM technology for extending the freshness of picked fruit, vegetables, and flowers. The Company’s product has been patented in more than 50 countries and is currently available in South America and Southeast Asia markets. Fresh Inset is a member of the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) and Greentown Labs. In May 2023 Fresh Inset was awarded the Eagle of Innovation – a competition organized by Rzeczpospolita business daily, recognizing the most innovative companies in the Polish economy. The company was recognized as the “Start-up with potential Poland – World”. 

Vidre+TM is the breakthrough next gen. application of 1-MCP technology, which exponentially expands the benefits of produce preservation by mitigating the effects of ethylene. The research conducted on 5 continents proves that the technology works on various crops and varieties from avocados to grapes, limes, pears, tomatoes, peppers, and many more. Vidre+™  brings a  timed and gradual release mechanism that allows produce to be treated by 1-MCP directly in packaging, eliminating the need for a 24-hour application in a sealed storage room or air-tight containers. Available as coated stickers, labels, and films, the technology enables the use of 1-MCP on all produce and opens up types of produce that are known to respond to 1-MCP, but have not received the benefit due to the application limitations of 1st generation of 1-MCP products (which have immediate release and need to be applied in airtight storage for 24 hours or airtight packaging).