AgroFresh Solutions has signed an exclusive global licensing agreement with Know Hub Chile to test and potentially market patent-pending technology for superficial scald control in apples and pears.

AgroFresh said the agreement continues its commitment to preserving produce freshness and potentially offers a new natural solution to help extend produce shelf-life and reduce food loss and waste.

The Know Hub Chile technology, first developed by and licensed from the University of Talca in Chile, is based on a natural lipid found in plants.

Existing solutions to prevent scald (chilling injuries to pome fruits typically experienced during storage) often include Ethoxyquin or Diphenylamine (DPA), antioxidant solutions that have residue levels and are banned from use in the European Union.

The new technology may provide a naturally derived solution to manage scald that could be available for drench, dip and fogging applications.

AgroFresh said customer trials will begin during the 2021/22 Northern Hemisphere pome fruit season.

“We are excited about the potential impact of this new technology for the apple and pear industry,” said AgroFresh CEO Clint Lewis.

“Natural scald control technology could be a strategic complement to our conventional scald control portfolio, and is a key part of our innovation pipeline.

By commercialising more plant-based solutions and leveraging our deep global post-harvest expertise, AgroFresh continues its commitment to help reduce food loss and waste for pome fruit across the produce industry.”

Javier Ramírez, CEO of Know Hub Chile, commented: “After an extensive industry investigation, we chose to work with AgroFresh based on their expertise, footprint and deep customer relationships in the produce marketplace.

“AgroFresh supported this technology from its earliest stages, including co-funding public grants that helped lead to its development.

Fernando Venegas, Know Hub’s chief tech transfer officer, added: “We are excited to work with them, and to contribute from Chile with an innovative technology that could help the pome fruit industry achieve their quality and sustainability objectives.”