Blueberry sticker to slow ripening process being trialled

Tuesday, 05 September, 2023

Blueberry sticker to slow ripening process being trialled

While blueberry harvesting is the full swing in Northern Hemisphere, the blue fruits business in both hemispheres may soon have an innovative tool for extending seasonality and reducing food waste.

The results of a recent trial conducted on blueberries after using novel technology indicated a slower ripening effect — with the treated blueberries being kept in good quality for the full 49 days of the test.

Vidre+ technology is a patented system for 1-MCP to begin release 1–2 hours after packaging and gradually release within the packaging itself over 30 hours via a simple-to-use sticker. The release of the product is triggered by humidity within the packaged product.

The technology is designed to protect ethylene — a gas and natural plant hormone that plays an important role both in ripening and fruit softening/degradation. It is already used in Argentina and is awaiting regulatory approval in key food production markets including the Americas.

The trials were commissioned by Fresh Inset and led by Dorota Wichrowska, PhD, from the University of Science and Technology in Poland during the summer season of 2022. Results have demonstrated the impact of Vidre+ technology on blueberries.

“Research underscores the potential of the Vidre+ technology, which can bring time management flexibility and the ability to deliver fresher blueberries across extended supply chain routes. The technology has demonstrated a positive impact on freshly harvested blueberries, which is marked by reduced weight loss, improved overall quality, extended fruit firmness and better retention of essential elements like Vitamin C and antioxidants,” said Tim Malefyt, PhD, CTO at Fresh Inset.

Blueberries treated with 1-MCP Vidre+ stickers are claimed to have lost less weight and kept better eating quality and firmness for a longer time compared to untreated ones.

Trial results

Throughout the test period, the treated fruit exhibited a 2–3% reduction in weight loss compared to the untreated group. Treated fruits maintained excellent eating quality throughout 35 days of the experiment and kept very good eating quality for the full 49 days of the test. Untreated fruits began to soften after 21 days vs after 35 days for treated fruit. After 28 days in cold storage, treated blueberries had 83% more Vitamin C and 33% higher antioxidant levels.

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