Smart Fresh Technology
The SmartFreshSM Quality System is globally recognized as an important tool for fruit quality management. SmartFresh successfully manages fruit and vegetable ripening by controlling naturally occurring ethylene during storage and transport.
Ethylene triggers ripening and spoilage in most fruits and vegetables, and can be responsible for storage disorders which can spoil products and result in loss and waste. SmartFresh reduces fruit waste and maintains the texture, firmness, taste and appearance of fruits by warding off negative ethylene effects.
Mode of Delivery
SmartFresh technology's active ingredient, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), is a simple hydrocarbon molecule similar to naturally occurring ethylene. This similarity allows SmartFresh to interact with the ethylene receptors of the fruits. The SmartFresh product is a sugar-based powder formulation which is dissolved in regular tap water releasing the 1-MCP in the storage room. It permeates the air and interacts with the ethylene receptors on the fruit, blocking them temporarily until the fruit comes out of the storage facility or the refrigerated environment. In ambient temperature the fruit develops new ethylene receptors, and ripening continues normally. The active ingredient biodegrades naturally and there is no SmartFresh present anymore when the application is completed. The whole process takes less than 24 hours.
SmartFresh is available in three additional modes of delivery to meet customer needs
SmartFresh ProTabs provides all the benefits of our original SmartFresh Quality System in a convenient and easy to use tablet delivery system that can be adapted for a wide range of treatment sizes and storage rooms.
Now even small orchards or small harvested fruit quantities can enjoy the benefits of SmartFresh SmartTabs in any prepared existing storage space or container with or without refrigeration.
SmartFresh InBox provides all the benefits of SmartFresh in a convenient sachet format that can be used in the container.
A range of studies has quantified the positive energy input customers get when using SmartFresh. Results prove that the use of SmartFresh together with Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage can contribute significantly to improved energy efficiency and lower carbon footprint without compromising quality.
Due to the lower metabolism and respiration rate of SmartFresh fruits, fewer hours are needed for refrigeration, defrosting, ventilation, O2 addition and CO2 scrubbing. When SmartFresh is used combined with changes in the storage regimes (night cooling, increase of storage temperature), the energy efficiency is even more noticeable: carbon footprint reductions and cost savings are measurably higher.
- Reduction on CO2 emissions: up to 53%
- Average energy savings: up to 7500 kWh during 6 months of storage (36% savings)
Gala apples were stored with SmartFresh technology at 4°C, while the control apples were stored at the standard temperature of 1.5°C: the SmartFresh storage room used 35% less energy than the control storage room. A sensorial study carried out after storage clearly showed consumers' preference for SmartFresh quality apples.
This study also revealed a decrease in weight loss for fruits stored with SmartFresh technology, which led to a weight gain of 630 additional kg. (The Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau-Bodensee (KOB), Germany).
The Istituto Agrario di San Michele all Adige has proven that quality benefits with SmartFresh technology for Italian Red Delicious and Fuji are still excellent if the cooling of the apples takes place exclusively at night. The lower costs of electricity during night time represent cost reductions of about 50%. In addition, the lower metabolism of the SmartFresh fruits significantly reduces the need for CO2 scrubbers.
At the end of the storage period, important energy savings were calculated (28% to 34%) and CO2 release was greatly reduced (between 29% and 55%).
Carbon Footprint Reductions During Transport From Southern Hemisphere
SmartFresh quality avocados can be shipped in Regular Air, whereas without SmartFresh technology they need CA (Controlled Atmosphere) conditions this involves necessarily higher energy consumption.
South African SmartFresh quality plums can be kept longer at 7.5°C instead of -0.5°C.
There are many advantages of SmartFresh technology such as a higher marketing flexibility, less pressure to sell the fruit and a larger marketing window of more consistent product quality during the entire sales season.
SmartFresh also provides better firmness maintenance for highly ethylene sensitive fruits like plums and persimmons, and also local heritage apple varieties.
For exports and long-distance transportation, SmartFresh allows for better quality at port of arrival and better resistance to breaks in the cool chain or unforeseen delays in the supply chain.
SmartFresh provides improved shelf life of fruits in ambient temperatures. In French retail research studies, more than 80% of plums with SmartFresh technology maintained top quality after 7 days compared to just 48% of control fruits. Marketing tests have proven that consumers come back for better quality fruit, thus retailers will see an increase in customer satisfaction.
AgroFresh's traceability studies show that fruit shipped long distances arrives at stores in better condition. Additional benefits include compatibility with residue-free programs and the potential for higher profitability.
An ACNielsen study in 24 stores in the Netherlands has proven that consumers recognize and appreciate the freshness, crunchiness and taste of SmartFresh quality apples. The comparison of 12 stores offering SmartFresh quality Elstar apples with 12 stores displaying regular Elstars over a 3 month period has shown a 12% increase in sales volume.The Advantage for Consumers
Taste tests in the U.S. and in several European countries have proven that among consumers 70% prefer crunchiness, 60% prefer juiciness and 2 out of 3 consumers prefer SmartFresh quality fruit.
ACNielsen in store taste test have shown a clear consumer preference for crunchier apples.
The test applers were kept for 10 days at room temperature after Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage.
85% of respondents preferred the crunchiness of the SmartFresh quality apples (firm to very firm fruits), versus 33% for the control apples.
Apples are a widely consumed, rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants. Nevertheless, research has shown that the vitamin C content decreases very quickly and at least by 50% in over 2 months of storage and 10 days of shelf life at regular temperature.
Several studies have proven that the SmartFresh Quality System contributes to a slowing down of the decrease of vitamin C throughout the whole apple supply chain. This is particularly the case, if SmartFresh is used during ULO storage, but even with all other traditional storage methods, there is consistent evidence that SmartFresh helps maintain the vitamin C content in a number of crops.
French studies in 2007 on the Vitamin C content of SmartFresh kiwifruit compared to regular stored kiwifruit, indicated 15 to 25% more vitamin C in the SmartFresh kiwifruit. Other recent studies found positive results with regard to flavonoid content retention and antioxidant activity in SmartFresh quality apples and pears.