U.S – Save Foods, an agri-food tech company specializing in eco crop protection that helps reduce food waste and ensure food safety has announced that its research and development team has managed to dramatically extend the shelf life of strawberries.

Fresh strawberries have one of the highest levels of waste of all fresh produce, with an estimated 64% of strawberries lost before they are ever eaten in the US.

This waste occurs at all stages of the supply chain and is valued at approximately US$1.4 billion dollars in the US alone.

Strawberries are highly perishable, presenting several challenges for commercial cultivation. They are relatively delicate when handled, they are subject to fruit rot and don’t last very long on the shelf.

Their shelf life is usually up to two weeks after picking, with the rate dropping exponentially every hour they are kept at room temperature.

Packers currently rely on refrigeration and packaging to keep strawberries fresh for up to two weeks. However, in Save Foods’ recent trial, the researchers managed to keep five times as many strawberries fresh, compared to the industry standard, by applying Save Foods’ treatments, which translates into 85% less waste.

“Our research demonstrated an 85% reduction in waste with Save Foods’ treatment. On day 15, our research team recorded an 81% loss for the control group (industry standard), while the loss was only 14% for strawberries treated with Save Foods’ treatment. Save Foods is committed to prolonging the freshness and shelf life of fresh produce, resulting in less waste and higher profits along the supply chain,” Commented Uri Bach, R&D Innovation Manager at Save Foods.

Extended shelf life offers growers, retailers and consumers a longer window in which to transport, sell, store and consume produce.

The company’s treatments are non-toxic and easy to apply, and they not only extend shelf life, but also provide a high level of food safety that benefits consumers.

Save Foods recently partnered with citrus packing house of Turkish packer Kalyoncu Nakliyat Turizm Ticaret ve Sanayi Limited Şirketi (“Kalyoncu”) to help it eliminate pesticide residues in its products.

Kalyoncu expects to purchase more than US$ 1 million worth of product for the 2022-23 Season. Kalyoncu is one of Turkey’s top exporters of fresh produce and is currently responsible for 22% of Turkey’s fresh produce exports.

“During an initial pilot that we concluded with Kalyoncu in January 2021, Kalyoncu reported that Save Foods’ treatment was successful in reducing pesticide residues to below the European Commission’s Maximum Residue Limits (“MRL”) on its produce,” Save Foods noted.

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