Packers Innovate with Hazel for Apples
CHICAGO, IL – Hazel Technologies Inc., a USDA-funded technology company delivering new packaging solutions for fresh produce to extend shelf-life, increase sales, and fight food waste, announces positive industry feedback on a version of their USDA-funded suite of technologies specifically designed for apples.
The Hazel™ for apple technology works by reducing the respiration rate of apples prior to the storage process. The technology was designed to be easy to use: operators simply toss the Hazel™ for apple sachet in a bin of apples following harvest and before storage. Feedback from the industry has been positive across multiple production regions:
“The most important feature of the Hazel™ for apple technology is the ease of use. It works great for the speed at which we fill rooms. (There is) no need to do partial applications. We get the same positive results with this new treatment,” said Brian Ruhoff, CFO at Wescott Orchards, a major Minnesota apple grower and part of global apple marketer Honeybear Brands.
“After trialing Hazel Tech® bin sachets, we observed vastly improved eating quality after storage. The technology is very easy to use – it’s a no brainer. We believe Hazel™ for Apple is the next new technology to positively impact quality across the apple industry,” said Steve Louis, Owner at Oakwood Fruit Farm. Oakwood, a grower and packer with over 100 years in operation, farms over 200 acres of apples in Richland Center, Wisconsin.
“Using Hazel on our Honeycrisp apples resulted in reduced labor, increased safety for employees, easy applications of 1- MCP, and after 40 days of storage, a 90% reduction of ethylene. It’s a great technology I plan on using every season,” said Scott Kee, VP Operations at Sacia Orchards. Sacia, the 2nd largest and oldest apple orchard in Wisconsin, farms 14 different varieties of apples across 250 acres of orchards.
“Apples are one of the pillars of the produce category. Our goal with Hazel™ for Apple was to provide both efficacy and extreme flexibility,” said Aidan Mouat, CEO at Hazel Technologies, Inc. “Based on customer feedback, we are on the right path, and will continue to improve this technology to provide even more value for apple growers, packers, and retailers.”
Founded in 2015, Hazel Tech® solutions revolve around the controlled release of active, shelf-life enhancing vapor from packaging materials. Hazel™ sachets are placed in boxes of bulk produce by packers soon after the time of harvest, extending the shelf-life of produce up to three times by slowing aging in produce and preventing decay. Hazel® patent-pending technologies have been tested by many of the country’s top academic research programs including UC Davis, Cornell University, and Oregon State University.