A packaging insert developed by Hazel Technologies, a USDA funded agricultural technology company, has begun to see successful commercial implementation, particularly with stonefruit packers.
Hazel is a biodegradable, food-safe, quarter-sized insert, placed in the box during packing, which extends the shelf-life of a variety of fresh produce items.
At the end of 2018, the University of California-Davis completed a successful stonefruit trial with the technology. Grower-packers have now reported up to 40 per cent reduction in quality claims and rejections when using Hazel with peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots.
“We have seen excellent results using Hazel Plum in our export markets,” said Dillon Luallen, manager of Sierra Sun Fruit Marketing, one of the grower-packers using the technology.
“Sierra Sun Fruit has seen a 40 per cent drop in our product quality claims with our export receivers since working with Hazel Tech.”
These results come as Hazel Technologies announced Norma Hollnagel has joined the company as senior sales manager.
She arrives following 19 years at regional post-harvest provider Ethylene Control, where she most recently served as vice-president.
Hollnagel will focus on managing Hazel Technologies expanding customer base and commercial operations in California and other key territories.