A recent study by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (UF-IFAS) found the shelf-life of grape tomatoes can be dramatically improved using an innovative postharvest solution by Verdant™ Technologies. The research team, led by Dr. Steven A. Sargent, conducted a variety of tests on grape tomatoes, examining the firmness, color, weight retention, and decay of tomatoes treated with Verdant's HarvestHold Fresh®. Upon completion of the study, HarvestHold Fresh demonstrated measurably significant benefits compared to the untreated control.
"The grape tomatoes treated with HarvestHold Fresh reduced weight loss by 50 percent, maintained firmness during cold storage, extended firmness when brought to room temperature, and had 25 percent less decay compared to the untreated tomatoes," says Dr. Sargent, professor of postharvest horticulture at the University of Florida.
The research team conducting the trial included Dr. Sargent, co-investigator Dr. Jeffrey Brecht, and postdoctoral research associate Dr. Shirin Shahkoomahally.
HarvestHold Fresh was introduced in September 2021 as an innovative shelf-life extension solution providing a simple and flexible postharvest product to the produce industry. Through its proprietary delivery method of industry-standard 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), HarvestHold Fresh can be applied wherever and whenever it's needed most in the supply chain and requires no catalysts or special equipment.
"The research conducted by the University of Florida will play a vital role in helping growers around the world see and experience the benefits of HarvestHold Fresh," says Gordon Robertson, CEO of Verdant Technologies. "It's estimated nearly a third of fresh tomatoes purchased in the U.S. are thrown out."
"HarvestHold Fresh is providing growers and the produce industry a simple solution that adds value by reducing waste throughout the entire value chain, ultimately resulting in a better experience for the consumer."
In addition to the trial on grape tomatoes, the University of Florida research team is evaluating the impact of HarvestHold Fresh on other crops, including cucumbers, broccoli, and lettuce.
"We've been interested in learning how HarvestHold performs on various crops," adds Dr. Sargent. "Our trials are proving the uniqueness of this solution, and we are excited to share more results of our additional trials in the coming months."
Verdant Technologies recently announced approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of an expanded label for HarvestHold Fresh, opening the door for more than 30 fruits and vegetables to benefit from its application. The expanded label also includes flexibility for recycling HarvestHold Fresh sheets after application.
Verdant Technologies is currently conducting business in Mexico, Colombia, and the United States. The company has received U.S. state approvals for HarvestHold Fresh in 49 states, with anticipation of approval in California by late 2022.