After a few days on the shelf, raspberries are likely to join millions of tonnes of produce that are wasted every year. This unnecessary loss of food can be reduced thanks to technology. Food tech driven by the purpose of combating food waste, revealed trial results showing that raspberries treated with its solution can hold good eating quality for 20 days, even doubling the lifespan compared to untreated fruits.
The rising demand for fresh produce and particularly “superfoods” like berries is one of the growth engines of the global raspberry market. According to the EMR report, the international red berries market is expected to grow at 3.0% during 2023-2028. However, due to the perishable nature of this crop, it needs to be delivered to consumers shortly after the pick. Freshness protection measures like refrigeration and special packaging help protect freshness, but the distribution of these fragile fruits still has time limitations. A new tool that could further protect the freshness and eating quality of raspberries is being developed.
“The bottom line here is that you can easily change a box, carton, clamshell, etc. from just a package into a smart freshness protection system – and you do not need a sealed environment or qualified staff. Recent Raspberry trial results are exciting. The list of crops that we can protect with our technology is even longer. –says Tim Malefyt, Ph.D., CTO at Fresh Inset.
This technology is called Vidre+™ and it can be a game changer in the freshness protection business. In the case of raspberries, it is applied via simple stickers that are placed inside the packaging to protect the berries from the effects of ethylene (a gas and natural plant hormone that plays an important role both in ripening and fruit softening/degradation). The stickers release the 1-MCP protectant – which is well known in the produce industry.
Vidre+™ is a cutting-edge solution with 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. The technology is easily used and affordable. Fresh Inset’s estimates that Vidre+™ could save up to 9,46 mln tonnes of fruits and vegetables annually. This would be a significant contribution to the global food waste fight.
Vidre+™ is already used in Argentina and is awaiting regulatory approval in key food production markets including the Americas. The research on 5 continents proves the solution works on various crops.
Recent trials commissioned by Fresh Inset led in Poland, by Dorota Wichrowska, Ph.D., from the University of Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz in the summer season of 2022, have demonstrated the impact of Vidre+™ technology for raspberries. Berries protected with Vidre+™ stayed fresh and firm preserving more Vitamin C and antioxidants 10 days longer than untreated berries, which began softening after only four days.