U.S – USDA-funded agricultural technology company Hazel Technologies, has conducted a successful trial with New York-based fresh fruit importer, Jac. Vandenberg that has seen the extension of the shelf life of Chilean table grape imports post-arrival.

In the trial, personnel at Jac. Vandenberg’s New Jersey Import Operations Department received two groups of Thompson seedless grapes that were packed in Chile on April 13th and arrived in the States 57 and 61 days later.

Upon arrival, Vandenberg’s team applied Hazel Tech’s flagship technology, Hazel 100, into each box of grapes.

At the end of the trial, Vandenberg saw greater quality in the grapes preserved with Hazel 100 for two to three weeks following delivery, and noted noticeably greener stems, which Vandenberg credits to observing less fruit shatter.

“Thompsons are a very complex and very popular variety of table grape worldwide. Seeing the noticeably greener stems in the grapes protected by Hazel 100, even after their extended amount of time on the water before treatment, is very exciting.

“Being able to get an additional few weeks out of these table grapes is something we could only hope for as an importer. With Hazel 100, it’s possible,” said John Paap, Brand Manager at Jac. Vandenberg.

As a distributor of fresh fruit imports with 75+ years of experience, Jac. Vandenberg receives approximately 12 million boxes of premium fresh produce each year from over ten countries.

They predominately import fruits from South American countries, like Chile, and work with European and African markets, as well, reports Perishablenews.com.

The company then distributes to wholesalers and stores all around the United States and Canada. Their products include a variety of fruits, such as cherries, citrus, and table grapes, among others.

While the United States accounts for 48.5% of Chilean table grape exports, according to the USDA, U.S. imports of Chilean grapes were down 7% in May of 2022, compared to the previous year.

The decline in arrivals is a result of supply chain problems left over from the COVID-19 pandemic, which have caused logistical bottlenecks and higher freight prices in South America.

“Hazel 100 is predominately used by growers, packers, and shippers, but this trial has shown us that Hazel 100 sachets can provide additional shelf-life when applied at any point of the supply chain.

“Seeing the greener stems on the Thompsons treated by Jac. Vanderburg was truly rewarding and opens up a lot of new opportunities for table grape importers into the United States,” said Nicolas Tomicic, Business Development Manager-AgTech at Hazel Technologies.

Hazel 100 has also helped Midwestern apple growers in the United States to preserve the quality of their apples.

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