CHICAGO, IL – Hazel Technologies, a USDA-funded company providing new technologies to extend the quality shelf life of produce and fight food waste is making an impact for growers, packers, and shippers in the apple industry this season, providing shelf-life extension from packhouse to store shelf. Hazel’s flagship product, Hazel 100™, takes an innovative approach to a technology the apple industry has used for the last 20 years and companies across the apple supply chain are taking notice.
Companies using Hazel Tech’s USDA-funded postharvest product line for apples include: Rice Fruit Company® based in Gardners, PA, the largest apple packing facility in the eastern half of the United States, BelleHarvest®, based in Belding, MI, one of the largest storage facilities in the eastern United States, and River Valley Fruit®, based in Grandview, Washington, a grower and packer of apples, cherries, pears, and stone fruit.
The North American apple harvesting season is roughly five months long from July to November, with its peak in September and October. Grower-packers across the US are planning to continue successfully utilizing Hazel’s suite of products with both core varieties as well as proprietary varieties. Products in Hazel’s suite of technologies for apples include Hazel 100™, Hazel CA™ for long term storage, Hazel O™ for organics, Hazel Datica™ for storage monitoring, and Hazel Trex™ for quality verification, all designed to help extend the shelf life and monitor the quality of their apples while in storage.
“In a typical year we might ship 2 million boxes of apples, ranging from the core varieties like Honeycrisp to proprietary varieties, like Kiku and Lemonade apples,” commented Leighton Rice, Quality Control Manager at Rice Fruit Company, “with each variety comes different challenges. We have found that Hazel’s range of technologies can help to keep the fruit fresh and attractive which is why we’ve added Hazel 100 to our process this year, alongside Hazel CA and Datica.”
“At BelleHarvest, we pride ourselves in embracing innovations to provide the highest quality of produce for our customers,” commented Milt Fuehrer, CEO of BelleHarvest Sales, “over the last two years of working with Hazel, we’ve seen that same dedication to innovation through the constant improvements being made to Hazel CA and its companion technology, Hazel Datica. We’ve been thoroughly impressed with our qc and pack-out results.”
“We feel even more confident in our storage strategies knowing that we have Hazel Tech on our team,” commented Gene Gifford, General Manager of River Valley Fruit, “we’ve used Hazel products successfully and have seen better packouts, better arrivals, and found it extremely user friendly. We cannot wait to continue our partnership using Hazel’s products for apples this season.”
About Hazel Technologies, Inc.:
Hazel Technologies, Inc. is a USDA-funded startup company that develops new solutions to extend the quality shelf life of fresh produce and reduce food waste. Founded in 2015, Hazel Tech services over 150 of the world’s largest fresh produce packers, shippers, and retailers. Selected as a Finalist for Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas and winner of “Best Sustainable Packaging” at the 2020 World Food Innovation Awards, the company’s patent-pending technologies have been tested by top academic research programs. In 2020, Hazel products were used with over 3.2 billion pounds of fresh produce, preventing more than 270 million pounds from going to waste.
For more information, visit www.hazeltechnologies.com
About Rice Fruit Company:
Founded in 1913, Rice Fruit Company is a multigenerational apple grower and packing facility in Adams County, Pennsylvania. The largest apple packing facility in the eastern half of the United States, Rice Fruit Company receives, stores, packages and markets fruit from over 40 family farms in surrounding areas.
For more information, visit https://ricefruit.com/
With more than 50 years of produce experience, BelleHarvest is one of the largest apple storage facilities in the eastern United States with a storage capacity of over one-half million bushels.
For more information, visit https://www.belleharvest.com/
About River Valley Fruit:
River Valley Fruit is a grower and packer of fresh fruit including apples, cherries, pears, and stone fruit based in Washington State. Their produce is shipped nationally and internationally.
For more information, visit River Valley Fruit’s Facebook page.