Dec 5, 2018
Hazel Tech completes trials with UC Davis, Gilbert Orchards

Hazel Technologies, Inc., has completed an apricot supply chain quality trial with the Postharvest Technology Center at the University of California, Davis. Researchers found that Hazel Apricot technology extends the shelf life of apricots in standard supply chain conditions. Hazel Apricot is an in-box sachet which slows the ripening process by using Hazel’s patented technology for inhibiting the action of ethylene.

“We are extremely pleased to report that UC Davis researchers saw significant increases in apricot firmness, even after release from 20 days in cold storage,” said Adam Preslar, co-founder and CTO of Hazel Technologies. “Stone fruits have their own unique challenges in the fresh supply chain and we are thrilled to offer the apricot and larger stone-fruit industry a technology that can help growers and shippers provide top-quality fruit to the market. We look forward to partnering with UC Davis on more stone fruit trials.”

The trial was conducted on late-season Patterson apricots grown by Gilbert Orchards near Yakima, Washington and shipped to California. Hazel Apricot was applied at packing and stayed with the packed apricots throughout the standard cold-chain. The apricots were then stored in retail conditions at UC Davis and periodically assessed by their team of researchers for firmness.

“In our trials, we were able to show conclusively that apricot firmness was preserved by approximately 30-50 percent in apricots subjected to retail conditions when Hazel Apricot was used in the supply chain. Furthermore, there is some indication that skin reddening and red spotting can be reduced in the mature fruit when Hazel Apricot is applied,” adds Dr. Angelos Deltsidis, associate director of the Postharvest Technology Center at UC Davis. “Our research center is committed to finding new postharvest solutions for crops with challenging shelf life, and we are pleased to be working with Hazel on this interesting addition to apricot shelf life technology.”

Hazel’s post-harvest solutions are being adopted across the stone fruit industry, not just with apricots. Two large producers, Orchard View and Sun West Fruit, reported positive results using Hazel Technology earlier this year.

“We integrate with the latest and best solutions and technologies for getting world-class produce to our distributors and retailers,” added Thomas Hale, warehouse manager at Gilbert Orchards. “We were happy to support this trial and are excited by such pronounced results.”

This work is supported by Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant no. 2017-33610-27304 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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