Chiquita Brands International subsidiary Fresh Express has announced that its entire range of salads sold across the US are now produced using Fresh Rinse, Chiquita's produce wash that has been scientifically validated to reduce certain types of bacteria while maintaining freshness and quality.
Fresh Express sells over 60 different varieties of pre-packaged, ready-to-eat salads in more than 24 retail stores in the US, all of which are now produced using FreshRinse.
"We've reached an important milestone in our mission to improve world nutrition with the expanison of our revolutionary new process to wash leafy greens across our Fresh Express salad lines," said Fernando Aguirre, Chiquita chairman and CEO.
"In addition to a significant improvement in food safety, our national FreshRinse conversion has shown improved quality and freshness as measured by sustained testing at our initial processing facility," he noted. "Our continuous investments into food safety, freshness and quality enhancement will make a positive impact on the lives of our consumers by increasing consumption of our nutritious, great tasting Fresh Express salads."
The effectiveness of FreshRinse, which was first unveiled in October last year, was developed using research by principal scientist Dr Kai-Lai Grace Ho and the company's food safety, innovation and manufacturing teams, and has been validated by studies at the National Centre for Food Safety and Technology.
Independent studies confirmed that FreshRinse demonstrated superior effectiveness in removing pathogens from wash water and from certain leafy greens compared with other traditional chlorine washes.
"The ability of FreshRinse to reduce bacteria in fresh produce is an important preventive strategy for minimising the likelihood of foodborne illness," said Dr David Acheson, former associate commissioner and chief medical officer of the US Food and Drug Administration, as well as an advisor to Fresh Express.
"The beauty of FreshRinse is the synergy between the two ingredients. When combined, they work together to deliver a significant level of magnitude improvement in antibacterial efficacy. In sum, each ingredient alone is not nearly as powerful in bacteria reduction as the combination of the two; this is a case where two plus two actually equals 22."