Fresh Tech: Extending Fruit’s Shelf Life

Fresh Tech: Extending Fruit’s Shelf Life

Chicago-based Hazel Technologies, Inc. has announced a successful trial with New York-based fresh fruit importer Jac. Vandenberg on Chilean table grape imports, post-arrival.

In the trial, personnel at Jac. Vandenberg’s New Jersey Import Operations Department received two groups of Thompson seedless grapes that were packed in Chile on April 13 and arrived in the States 57 and 61 days later, according to a news release. 

Upon arrival, Vandenberg’s team applied Hazel Tech’s flagship technology, Hazel 100, into each box of grapes. At the conclusion of the trial,

Vandenberg saw higher quality in the grapes protected by Hazel 100 for two to three weeks after arrival, noting significantly greener stems, which Vandenberg attributes to seeing less shatter, in the Hazel 100-protected fruit.

“Thompsons are a very complex and very popular variety of table grape worldwide,” John Paap, brand manager at Jac. Vandenberg, said in the release. “Seeing the noticeably greener stems in the grapes protected by Hazel 100, even after their extended amount of time on the water before treatment, is very exciting. Being able to get an additional few weeks out of these table grapes is something we could only hope for as an importer. With Hazel 100, it’s possible.”

As a distributor of fresh fruit imports for more than 75 years, Jac. Vandenberg receives approximately 12 million boxes of premium fresh produce each year from over ten countries. They predominately import fruits from South American countries, like Chile, and work with European and African markets, as well, according to the release.

The company then distributes to supermarkets and wholesalers across the continental U.S. and Canada. Their commodities include a wide array of fruits including, but not limited to, cherries, citrus, and table grapes. 

While the U.S. accounts for 48.5% of Chilean table grape exports, according to the USDA, U.S. imports of Chilean grapes were down 7% in May of 2022, compared to the previous year. The decrease in arrivals is due to logistical delays and increased freight costs in South America, created by the residual supply chain issues from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Hazel 100 is predominately used by growers, packers, and shippers, but this trial has shown us that Hazel 100 sachets can provide additional shelf-life when applied at any point of the supply chain,” Nicolas Tomicic, business development manager of AgTech at Hazel Technologies, said in the release. “Seeing the greener stems on the Thompsons treated by Jac. Vanderburg was truly rewarding and opens up a lot of new opportunities for table grape importers into the U.S.”


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